The world’s greatest tennis tournament may be known for elite athletes, celebrity spectators and strawberries and cream, but for many Wimbledon is also about queues, tents and takeaways. It’s one of the few sporting events that holds premium tickets to be sold on the day of play. But with COVID-19 meaning social distancing is central to everything we do, how is the event working this year? From the order of play to getting tickets, here’s what you need to know about Wimbledon in 2021.
When is the event?
The two-week event, hosted by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, begins this year on Monday June 28 and runs to July 11. The Championships have been held since 1877, and tennis’s oldest tournament is steeped in history and tradition.
How is COVID-19 affecting Wimbledon 2021?
The tournament is watched by millions around the world, usually with around 39,000 spectators each day. However, due to COVID-19, things need to be done differently in 2021. The event is being run as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme, so there are strict entry requirements.
There is no Queue this year, which means no camping overnight or waiting around all day in the hope of a ticket to Centre Court. Tickets will all be digital – ticket holders must have a mobile device with the myWimbledon app and NHS app. Each individual visitor must carry photo ID and give proof of COVID status. How you do that varies depending on where you’re from, so be sure to check the latest requirements. Everyone will be required to wear a face covering when moving around the grounds, but these are not mandatory once seated in the venue. Capacity is at about 50% for social distancing reasons.
How do I get tickets?
With no Public Ballot, LTA Ballot, and no Queue, tickets are being sold through the myWimbledon app. Input your preferences and keep an eye on the situation regarding returned tickets, which should be available throughout the tournament. A maximum of two tickets can be bought in any transaction. Limited numbers of tickets are released each day on Ticketmaster for American Express customers. If money is no object, you can buy resale Debenture Seating tickets, which start from £800.
How much are tickets?
Whether you are longing to see your favorite player in action, or more interested in simply taking in the historic atmosphere of Wimbledon’s most celebrated court, keep in mind that ticket prices for show courts increase each successive day. The cost of a seat on Centre Court rises from £70 on the opening Monday to £240 on the final days of the tournament.
The order of play
To find out where (and roughly when) particular players are on court, search the following day’s scheduled matches on the Order of Play, which is published on the tournament’s website each evening. Foul weather can scupper the best-laid plans, unless they involve Centre Court or Court No.1 – retractable roofs have guaranteed play since on each since 2009 and 2019 respectively.
Future tickets – the return of the Queue
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) has indicated that the Queue is an important part of the Wimbledon tradition, and the organization expects it to return in future. If the system returns in 2022, head to the lush lawns of Wimbledon Park (opposite the All England Club) on the day you hope to get tickets, and charming stewards will politely guide you into the Queue. Once the embossed queue card is in hand, it’s simply a waiting game.
People who were successful in the 2020 ballot have had their tickets rolled forward to 2022. Information on future ticket ballots is still to come. The Championships in 2022 are scheduled to start on Monday June 27 and run through to Sunday July 10, 2022.
Article by Matt Phillips first published in 2019, and last updated in June 2021.
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