We went Tuesday evening and Wednesday all day and evening. I'm not sure if it would be like this every year, but we felt like we could have gotten away with being there all day Wednesday without having purchased that night ticket. The only place the ticket grants you access to is your seat on Center Court. If you think you'd be like us and not need to leave in the afternoon and come back, you'll never need to scan that night ticket. We only spent a few minutes here and there in Center Court so we definitely could have had a full, enjoyable evening without that night ticket. Obviously if you were there for the later days there wouldn't be enough happening outside of Center Court to consider this.
There are tons of hotels on Mason-Montgomery road which is just a ten minute drive from the tournament. We stayed in a Best Western right across from the Marriott. I'd say it was mid-range price wise but they had a pretty good breakfast buffet so I factor that into the cost since it saved us quite a bit of money. You can't bring any food in with you, but there was so much going on I honestly had to force myself to remember to eat. The concession food is reasonably priced. You can eat lunch and dinner for less than $10 per meal. The worst thing is thirst and needing to buy water. I couldn't find any drinking fountains. I kept telling myself I'd refill a bottle from the tap in the bathroom, but I never did that.
This trip was honestly one of the highlights of my life. I plan to go back every year now.
“Ortho Stice played with a kind of rigid, liquid grace, like a panther in a back-brace.” DFW