Election Section

News of the Weird

Friday September 13, 2002

Boston squash comin’ up 


BOSTON — In its 102 years, Symphony Hall has hosted an auto show, an escape by Harry Houdini, mayoral inaugurations and meetings of the Communist Party. 

But never, it is believed, a sporting event. Until now. 

On Thursday, the U.S. Open squash tournament is set to begin, drawing 11 of the world’s top 12 players to the venerable music hall to compete for prize money and promote their sport. 

Workmen were busy Wednesday constructing the 22,000-pound portable court and surrounding it with 550 seats. Squash — similar to racquetball but played with a smaller and less bouncy ball — is played within a glass-enclosed box. 

Things could get loud at the home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra — Symphony Hall’s construction predates the science of echo-muffling concert hall acoustics. 

That’s fine with Martin Heath, of Scotland, the world’s No. 11 player. 

“That’s what you want, you want a bit of atmosphere,” Heath sai