Wimbledon organisers are considering a change to the famous queue to combat the drop in attendance, after empty seats on Centre Court plagued the first week of matches.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) is set to make part of the queue ‘virtual’, with other changes including sending alerts to fans during matches to offer an upgrade to a frontline view.
The AELTC will also review the event’s ticketing policy after attendance across the first five days of the tennis tournament was down by almost 20,000 compared to 2019.
Traditionally, tennis fans would queue for hours, camping overnight to try and secure tickets on the day. Fans will now be given a position in the queue via their mobile phones, and can simply return to the grounds after receiving a notification.
A queue will remain in some physical capacity, but this would be largely reduced with the introduction of the virtual line.
The annual ticket ballot draws maximum demand and sells out the 42,000 seats available, but organisers reserve around 9,500 tickets for daily sale, to allow casual fans the opportunity to watch some of the day’s tennis.
The location of the physical queue will also change, with the AELTC planning a redevelopment of the grounds. Organisers hope to expand Wimbledon into a neighbouring parkland over the next eight years, adding more courts including an 8,000-seat show court.