-Open-Organisers back down from food fight
By Ossian Shine
NEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - U.S. Open officials have backed down from a food fight with tennis fans after a revolt by visitors to the $17.1 million grand slam.
Security guards at Flushing Meadows had forced hundreds of fans, workers and players to dump their lunches at the gate before finally bowing to protest and allowing the picnicking to proceed.
Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash was one who was forced to throw food away at the gate to the National Tennis Center on Monday.
In past years, security officers confiscated bottles, cans and drinks coolers but not food. This year, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) had expanded the ban to include fans' lunches.
But after a series of complaints from furious fans, Open officials consigned the ban to the dustbin.
"The fans spoke, and we responded," USTA Vice President David Newman said. "We always strive to create a fan-friendly environment."
Many fans believed the ban was a cynical ploy to force spectators to buy food at the venue.
Stalls were charging $18.50
for a triple-decker sandwich at Flushing Meadows while a turkey wrap is priced at $9
and French fries cost $6.50