Wimbledon fans hopeful that plans for ace new roof to cover court one will go ahead


Club officials are deciding whether to cover the 11,500-seat show court .


By David Eggboro

Tennis fans are hopeful that Wimbledon will give the go ahead to a rumoured new roof over Court No1 as part of a redevelopment at the All England Club.

Club officials are deciding whether to cover the 11,500-seat show court but remain tight lipped about the potential cost of the venture.

The court was built ‘roof-ready’ in 1997 so the cost over covering the arena should be marginal compared to that of Centre Court.

PR official, Johnny Perkins, said: “The club should be able to give an update about the plans in a press conference in late April.”

The roof would ensure that the Great British weather will no longer blight tournament schedules as two courts will be guaranteed for matches come rain or shine.

It will be fantastic news for spectators sitting in the stands provided the project costs are not passed on via tickets or the strawberries and cream.

Funding for big projects has previously come from a Debenture funding scheme whereby private investors buy an allocation of seats for a five year period.

Centre Court currently has 2,500 seats allocated to Debentures with 1,000 up for grabs to investors on Court No1.

The tickets can be traded and Centre Court purchases can exceed £60,000 with its sister court enjoying £15,000-£20,000 sales.

As with Centre Court, other infrastructure may be needed such as air-conditioning systems to maintain optimum conditions for the grass.

Areas behind the Royal Box are also reportedly being altered along with improvements to practice facilities and the indoor court complex.

Although a roof may alarm traditionalists, the Wimbledon hierarchy can cite lucrative TV deals and ticket sales as reason enough to go ahead with a plan.

Mr Perkins said: “It is something they have to look at and if satisfied they will make an announcement.”

Photo courtesy of  jay galvin, with thanks.

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