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U.S. Open: Numbers behind high stakes tennis

Fans watching the U.S. Open over the next two weeks will be bombarded with numbers. From games, sets and first serve percentage, the data will be overwhelming. Those facts are necessary to know what is happening on the court, but behind the scenes there is eye opening money information that might surprise most viewers.

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA
Federer and Jordan meet following a match on Day Two of the 2014 US Open.
Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for USTA

(Check out video at ABC News)

First off, the winners of the men’s and women’s singles each take home $3 million in prize money. A nice sum, but it is well worth it considering the $720 million that was brought into the New York economy in 2013.

And the 700,000 fans who attend are nine times as many as at the Super Bowl. That might explain why Maria Sharapova pulled in $24 million and Roger Federer made $56 million. Most of that is from endorsements that tennis has provided.

The average salary of those tennis fans is $150,000 while football fans make about $94,000. This is enough money to afford the $125 steaks served by top chefs like David Burke at the U.S. Open. Burke estimates he will make 1500 of the prized 3 lb. porterhouse steaks.

And ticket prices as expected are not for the cost conscious. The nose bleed seats are $167 to courtside for $614. That is just for the early round matches. By the time the final rolls around on September 8th, those prices go from $424 for the cheap seats to $1519 for front row.

Tennis is more than just numbers and although they might be in the background, numbers are definitely front page news at the U.S.Open.