Wimbledon organisers have opted not to run a public ballot for this year’s tennis grand slam event, but will instead be providing an online platform for ticket sales in June.
The All-England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said this was in order to leave decisions on capacity as late as possible in order to welcome the maximum number of guests, and manage ticket distribution accordingly.
The AELTC Main Board and Committee of Management met following the publication of the UK Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown last month to consider some operational decisions in relation to planning for the 2021 event.
Following the meeting, the AELTC said that at this point in time, the most likely outcome for this year’s championships, as an outdoor venue, is a reduced number of spectators within the grounds. However, it added that it is taking “every step to remain as flexible as possible” in order to ensure it can react to changing circumstances that may allow an increase or require a decrease in attendance.
Wimbledon is scheduled to take place this year from June 28 to July 11, kicking off a week after the UK’s roadmap plans to allow outdoor venues to return at full-capacity.
Fans who were successful in the Wimbledon Public Ballot, and paid for their tickets for the cancelled 2020 event will be given the chance to purchase tickets to the 2022 event for the same day and court.
AELTC said this was in order to provide “a fair and equal opportunity for all these individuals to attend The Championships.”
In addition, there will not be a queue or ticket resale in operation for this year’s championships, but will return in 2022. In the absence of the queue, the Wimbledon Public Ballot and the LTA Ballot this year, tickets for the public to attend the championships will be made available online and is anticipated to begin in June.
Ian Hewitt, AELTC chairman, said: “These remain challenging and uncertain times, and our thoughts continue to be with all those affected by the pandemic. Although the promise of a return to a more normal existence is on the horizon, we are not there yet. As such, we have taken some key decisions in order to provide us with some certainty in our planning, and yet also to retain flexibility where we need it the most.
“We remain committed to delivering on our aspiration of staging the best Championships possible. In line with the UK Government’s Roadmap, we are cautiously optimistic that The Championships will play an exciting role as the country begins to embrace a return towards normality. We remain humbled and heartened by the passion for Wimbledon shown by our fans around the world, and we so look forward to seeing the world’s best tennis players setting foot on our courts once again.”
In line with UK Government and public health guidance, the tournament has also revealed plans to put a series of infection control measures in place. There will be official hotels for all players, their support teams, and key groups such as officials, which will be a mandatory requirement for entry into and participation in this year’s championships.
In addition, it will not be staging the Invitation Doubles events in 2021, and there will be no Last 8 Club operation on site. It added: “At this point in time, we have not been advised that these measures need to include the restriction of spectator movement around the grounds.”
The AELTC has also begun to embark on a public consultation process for the AELTC Wimbledon Park Project, which refers to the developing proposals for the use of the AELTC’s landholding in Wimbledon Park.
The consultation is expected to conclude in June, with a planning application to be submitted in July. Subject to planning, it said it is envisaged that the project would commence in 2022, with the various aspects of the plan being delivered in sequence, including the staging of Qualifying within the AELTC’s extended Grounds by 2028.