The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is offering more than 1,000 free tickets to key workers to its series of summer major events.
The national governing body for tennis in Great Britain has announced the initiative for its four key Wimbledon warm-up events in Birmingham, Nottingham, Eastbourne and at Queen’s Club, all of which were cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Free tickets will be offered to key workers local to each venue from the NHS, police and fire service, local transport workers and other local authority workers.
The tournaments are expected to operate at approximately 25 per cent capacity this year, subject to UK government and Public Health England guidance to ensure that sporting events are socially distanced.
The number of tickets made available will vary depending on the seating capacity of each venue, with for example 50 tickets available per day at cinch Championships at The Queen’s Club and 30 per day at the Eastbourne International.
LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd said: “We are delighted to be able to make these tickets available to key workers to thank them for their incredible efforts over the past 14 months.
“Everyone at the LTA is very grateful for the sacrifices they have made in what has been an exceptionally difficult time for the whole country and we sincerely hope that they will enjoy our events.
“Sport isn’t the same without spectators and, even though our events this year will operate with reduced-capacity crowds, I can’t wait to see supporters back in the stands – with key workers among them.”
Chris Pollard, LTA digital and events director, added: “Our events have always been rooted in their local communities and we’re pleased to be able to recognise the efforts of our incredible key workers with this offer to enjoy free world class tennis at their local venues this summer.
“Even though they will look different, we are looking forward to bringing our events back this summer and it will be a great pleasure to welcome so many of those who continue to lead our fight against the pandemic.”
Wimbledon will return this year after the event was cancelled in 2020 for the first time since World War Two. It will be held between June 28 and July 11.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) last week reported an operating profit of £40.5m (€46.6m/$56.3m) for the financial year ending July 31, 2020, in large part down to the insurance policy it had in place that covered the cancellation of last year’s event.