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Long lines at entry gates have caused frustration among US Open fans on Day 1 in New York. But the tournament says that it is actively seeking solutions to a problem that they say stems from bag checks, rather than vaccination card checks.

Tennis Express

After some fans raised the issue and voiced their frustration on social media, the tournament released a statement via email, citing the fact that crowds are arriving later and with more bags in 2021.

“Three primary factors are contributing to the delay of entering the US Open through the East Gate of USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center,” the Tournament said in its statement.

1. Crowds have arrived later than they generally have in the past. Previously, the number of patrons arriving to the grounds prior to 11 am averaged approximately 10,000. This year, the number arriving prior to 11 am was only 3,000.

2. Once a certain capacity is reached on the Boardwalk connecting the train platform and the entrance to the site, the New York Police Department begins to hold patrons on the Citi Field side of the Boardwalk until capacity is diminished on the Boardwalk.

3. Patrons have brought an inordinate number of bags this year, all of which need to be searched. This becomes the main choke point for entry.

According to the USTA, proof of vaccination checks are working smoothly. They plan to explore ways to speed up the bag check in future days.

“The slow down seems to be centered on the Bag Check area,” the tournament wrote. “The USTA is exploring ways to improve this process to ensure quicker entry for the remainder of the tournament. The process to check proof of vaccination seems to be working smoothly and is not a major contributor hampering entrance to the site.”