Wimbledon 2021 will take place with spectator capacity of at least 25% of the courts. The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) confirmed the news on Thursday. However, they also said that the guidelines for the same will remain flexible.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020, sport events with no fans have become commonplace. Tennis has been no exception in that regard. But English authorities have begun slowly welcoming fans back into sport.
The Carabao Cup final between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur featured 8,000 spectators at Wembley. The FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City will have 21,000 fans.
Wembley will also host eight Euro 2020 games and hopes to have at least 22,500 fans each for those games. Now one can add Wimbledon 2021 to the list of events that will have match-going fans.
“We very much hope 25% 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,” AELTC CEO Sally Bolton said.
“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.”
The AELTC also confirmed that from next year onwards the event will be extended by an additional day.
Centre Court will celebrate a hundred years in 2022. To mark the centenary, the middle Sunday will become a permanent part of the tournament schedule. Thus, The Championships will now be a 14-day event.
“Thanks to improved grass court technology and maintenance over the past five years or so and other measures, we are comfortable that we are able to look after the courts, most particularly Centre Court, without a full day of rest,” AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt said.
Wimbledon didn’t take place in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was the first time since World War II that The Championships didn’t take place.
Novak Djokovic is the current defending Wimbledon men’s champion, having won the 2019 singles final. Simona Halep is the last woman to have won the prestigious Grand Slam.