If you want the best seat at Arthur Ashe Stadium, you've got to be an engineer

Engineer Mark Sharamitaro Video/Screen Grab/WSJEngineer Mark Sharamitaro

There’s a spectacular new, $150 million retractable roof at the US Open’s main court, the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The roof is meant to prevent the kind of rain delays that have caused havoc with tournament scheduling in years past.

And it already served its purpose on Thursday when rain hit during a match. Although the players complained that the noise of rain hitting the roof put them off their game, the fact that the roof was closed and the match could continue means that engineer Mark Sharamitaro was on his game. 

Sharamitaro, a mechanical engineer, was profiled by the Wall Street Journal’s Tom Perrotta because the important job of closing the roof comes with one of the most spectacular seats in the house.

It’s an air-conditioned office at the top of the stadium, with a big view of the action, next to the broadcaster’s booth. It even comes complete with a mini-fridge stocked with snacks.

Sharamitaro thought the roof-closing job would involve manning an office in the basement. But sometimes the engineer gets the best view in the house, not the worst.

Here’s a video of the roof in action, with some engineering facts about it. At about 2:05 you can get a glimpse of the office.

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