Wimbledon reveals new £70m retractable roof on Court No 1


Wimbledon retractable roof on Court No 1 Image: AELTC

A new retractable roof was unveiled over Wimbledon’s No 1 court ahead of this summer’s competition. The new roof cost £70million and is identical to the one that has covered Centre Court since 2009. It was constructed by British company Sir Robert McAlpine over the course of three years, the Daily Mail reported.

A test event was held on May 19 with the roof to be used officially for the first time. Wimbledon winners John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Lleyton Hewitt and Goran Ivanisevic competed in exhibition matches.

Meanwhile, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), the venue for the Wimbledon grand slam event, has confirmed it is ending its postal ballot process for tickets to the tournament, with applications to be conducted online from 2020.

It will be the first time the tennis major has moved away from its traditional postal system, which has been in place since 1924.

Fans will still be able to queue for on-the-day tickets during the tournament, considered part of the Wimbledon experience, when the new process is introduced.

In a statement, the AELTC said: ‘Ensuring the accessibility of Wimbledon tickets for spectators of all ages and geographical locations remains a primary focus and importantly the ballot will retain the principle that applications may be submitted at any time during the application window; there is no advantage to being the fastest to apply.’

The update was one of a number of announcements made by the AELTC ahead of this year’s championships in July.

Among them was confirmation that work on No 1 Court had been completed. This included construction of a fixed, retractable roof, an increased capacity of 12,345 and the replacement of seats inside the venue. It takes capacity of all the grounds at Wimbledon to 42,000.

The tournament’s hospitality offering has also been giving a facelift, with the introduction of the Southern Village this year. Situated in the south of the grounds, attractions will include shops, food and drink outlets, and a new fan experience area. The Rosewater Pavilion will serve as the new official hospitality space.

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