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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday April 27, 2021

 
Wimbledon

Wimbledon is set to be held with 25 percent spectator capacity, but no prize money info has been released yet.

Photo Source: Chris Oddo

Wimbledon has announced plans for 25 percent spectator capacity at the 2021 Championships, while unveiling plans for 2022 that include the abolishment of the long-held middle Sunday tradition.

Tennis Express


In a press release, Wimbledon said that it hopes that capacity may even rise above 25 percent, as it promised another update in early June.

Chairman Ian Hewitt said that while Wimbledon “will be different from the Wimbledon as we know it” the AELTC is totally committed to hosting the event after cancelling for the first time since World War II in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Wimbledon CEO Sally Bolton says that 25 percent spectator capacity is a starting point from which she hopes to build: “We very much hope 25 percent is a minimum position from which we can build - it is our absolute desire to enable as many people as possible to safely attend The Championships this year. At the heart of our thinking is the intention to create the mix of spectators for which Wimbledon is known, while also working hard to protect the financial performance of The Championships, including the surplus that we deliver for the benefit of British tennis.”

Middle Sunday Tradition Will End in 2022

The ancient tradition of granting the Wimbledon grass a reprieve on the tournament’s middle Sunday will come to an end in 2022.

The tournament provided a list of FAQ’s and answers, including the following response about the maintenance of the grass under the new scheduling.

• Traditionally, Middle Sunday has provided a vital opportunity to water the courts, particularly Centre Court, which is the most heavily used.
• With thanks to improved grass court technology and maintenance over the past five years or so and other measures, we are now comfortable that the courts, most particularly Centre Court, can be maintained without a full day of rest.
• Across the 14 days, we will be maximising all windows to provide additional water to the courts to keep the grass plant in good condition, in particular on Centre Court, and we will also take minimising wear into account in our scheduling decisions.
• The steaming process that we have introduced has seen better wear tolerance in the grass plant and will be something we continue to invest in.
• Ultimately, grass remains a living, natural surface which is susceptible to fluctuations in weather and temperature, and so the measures we need to take will adapt accordingly to best maintain the courts.


The tournament says the change will help it take “steps to enhance their accessibility, in order to reach broader and more diverse audiences. Introducing an extra day to our schedule, on a Sunday, will enable us to do this at this important time.”

Prize Money? Yet to Be Determined

Wimbledon says that it currently lacks clarity on revenue, with regard to attendance, and is therefore withholding prize money information for the moment.

“Given that we are not able to fully understand what the financial performance of The Championships will be, we are not yet able to decide on our prize money levels for our competitors. We expect to announce this at some point in June.”

 

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