The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has blamed online box-office provider The Ticket Factory for “significant technical issues” during its sale of tickets for this summer’s series of major events.

The national governing body for tennis in Great Britain faced an influx of complaints when the ticketing site crashed yesterday (Wednesday) due to the high demand for access to events at Queen’s Club in west London, Birmingham and Eastbourne.

Yesterday’s sale was an exclusive pre-sale for members of the LTA’s Advantage scheme, who had paid £20 for priority access to tickets, with the general-public sale to begin on Tuesday.

Just 30 minutes after the sale kicked off at 10am, the LTA said it was seeing “high volumes of traffic online and on the phone, which we appreciate is causing frustration, however tickets are still available so please be patient and keep trying.”

Two hours later it informed fans that the problems were “due to The Ticket Factory experiencing significant technical issues site-wide across all of their events. They are working to resolve this issue as fast as possible.”

It added: “We sincerely apologise for the frustrations this has caused, as we know many of you have spent so much time and effort to try and purchase tickets.”

The LTA reported in the afternoon that The Ticket Factory advised that the site wide technical issues were resolved and the online advantage priority ticket window would be live from 2pm, with tickets still available across all tournaments.

The Ticket Factory, which is a division of NEC Group, said in a statement: “We experienced some technical issues with our website which meant we had to temporarily pause an on sale for the LTA. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to their customers. The problem was resolved quickly, and we are pleased to say tickets were subsequently sold at an incredibly fast rate.”

The LTA 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. Some 15,000 tickets should have been available on Wednesday morning, it is estimated.

Last month, the LTA announced it was offering more than 1,000 free tickets to key workers to its series of summer major events. 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 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.

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.

Image: Carine06/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size