The Wimbledon Championships are set to return this year from Mon 28th June – Sun, 11th July, however things might look a little different to the usual event…
Councillers in the local area and residents associations have received a letter telling them to prepare for a likely reduced capacity Championships this summer alongside some much expected road closures around the local communities, but even these closures are said to be following a much stricter format this year as extra traffic measures will need to be in place to allow only a percentage of the normal crowd number in.
The letter explained that there were three options for the Championships this year, one being a ‘full capacity’ Championships, one a ‘reduced capacity’ Champtionships and one a no-audience ‘behind closed doors’ Championships. Most of the planning at the current time is said to be going into the second option, centreing on the idea of a Championships with social distancing and a strict management of crowd safety. This would mean an estimate of around 10,000 daily fans being able to watch the tournament – with a severe reduction in queuing (or possibly no queues at all!).
Sally Bolton OBE, Chief Executive of the AELTC, commented on the planning for the event: “Staging The Championships in 2021 is our number one priority and we are actively engaged in scenario planning in order to deliver on that priority. We recognise how important the player communities are to the delivery of a COVID-secure Championships, and I am delighted to have Jamie Baker’s support in his expanded role as Head of Professional Tennis and Tournament Director.
“I would also like to thank the government and public health authorities for their ongoing advice which will continue to be invaluable as The Championships 2021 draws closer. At the same time, we are delighted to demonstrate confidence in Wimbledon with the renewal of several partnerships across our commercial programme which play a significant contribution to the successful staging of The Championships both in 2021 and in the future.”
The main road that will be affected is Church Road bewteen the main site and the Wimbledon Golf course. If the planning request goes ahead, only emergency and access vehicles will be allowed down a significant stretch of the road during the tournament.