August 24, 2009
When the Yale Bowl opened in 1914 it was the largest stadium constructed in the world since the Roman Coliseum. Bigger venues were soon built in the United States, but now, as the 64,000 seat Yale Bowl approaches its 100th birthday, it can boast a new record: home of the world's largest tennis court.
As part of a promotional event for this week's Pilot Pen Tennis tournament, the WTA transformed the football field at Yale into an over-sized tennis court. Tournament organizers received permission from Yale to paint over the lines on the football field and replace them with the markings of a tennis court. But instead of the usual 36'x78' dimensions, this court stretched from sideline-to-sideline and endzone-to-endzone.
Earlier today, Caroline Wozniacki and Flavia Pennetta "played" on the massive court, first with giant-sized novelty racquets and then using their usual equipment. They also posed for photos with Yale football coach Tom Williams. No word on whether Williams asked the 5'10" European players whether or not they could play receiver for his Bulldog football team.
Today's event was a publicity stunt in the truest sense of the term, as there were no fans on hand for the exhibition. But, hey, I guess it worked because here I am writing about it.
I especially enjoyed that there were line judges perched on each baseline, just in case someone's 140-foot backhand carried a little too far.