The All England Tennis Club set out its plans for this year and beyond at the annual Spring Press Conference.
The AELTC is working to a spectator capacity position of around 25%, based on the current Sports Ground Safety Authority guidance but will be dependent on the outcome of the government’s Event Research Programme and clarity on the likelihoods of restrictions being eased beyond 21 June.
Chief Executive Sally Bolton said: “We very much hope 25% is a minimum position from which we can build – it is our absolute desire to enable as many people as possible to safely attend The Championships this year. At the heart of our thinking is the intention to create the mix of spectators for which Wimbledon is known, while also working hard to protect the financial performance of The Championships, including the surplus that we deliver for the benefit of British tennis.”
This year tickets will be required for Centre Court, Court No. 1, Court No. 2 and for Courts 3, 12 and 18. Tickets for the public will be sold exclusively online and all tickets will be distributed via the official Wimbledon mobile app. Also the tournaments grounds will be entirely cashless.
Tickets will be provided for key workers as a thank you for those who have served at the frontline during the pandemic.
The AELTC will leave it as long as possible to try and ensure ticket allocations are as fair a mix as possible and hope to have a better idea of the government’s approach to the easing of restrictions post 21 June and advise those interested in tickets to sign up to myWIMBLEDON.
Players will all have to stay at an approved hotel this year, and the option for players to rent private houses will not be permitted, even affecting players who live locally, such as Andy Murray.
Bolton said: “The minimised risk environment we created for the players is a requirement from the government to bring athletes without them going into quarantine upon entry into the UK. “Players enjoy private housing and we hope to bring it back next year but it’s just not possible this year.”
Prize money is still to be finalised. As the AELTC is unable to fully understand what the likely financial performance of The Championships will be, they are holding off announcing the prize money until June.
The traditional rest day on the middle Sunday will be no more from 2022. The tournament will be played over 14 consecutive days, made possible because of better grass maintenance.
This means that ‘Manic Monday’ of the second week where all the last-16 matches used to be played on the one day will now be spread over Sunday and Monday. Manic Monday ensured that those without tickets could at least catch one of the marquee singles matches on other courts.
There has been play on Middle Sunday four times, due to rain disruption, in 1991, 1997, 2004 and 2016.
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