Wimbledon officials have secured a £175m (€192.3m/$225.6m) loan facility for the second phase of a major redevelopment project that will include the installation of the new retractable roof in No.1 Court.
The roof at the famous London tennis venue is expected to cost £71m and be finished in time for the 2019 Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
The roof forms part of the Wimbledon ‘Master Plan’ initiative, with some funds from the new loan facility to go towards other projects included in this wider effort. The All England Lawn and Tennis Club (AELTC) also intends to expand the capacity of No.1 Court from 11,500 to 12,400.
The loan facility and spending plans featured in AELTC’s accounts at Companies House, and were picked up by Sky Sports.
“In September 2016, the company extended the £175m loan with HSBC to July 31, 2023 to finance the No.1 Court project and aspect of the Master Plan,” the annual report said. “The loan is secured on the grounds at Church Road.”
Wimbledon makes £125m from debenture seat sales and AELTC said it intends to use these funds to pay off the loan facility, along with income from a number of other sources, including broadcast rights, general ticket sales and sponsorship deals.
The Wimbledon Championships is one of sport’s longest-running events, having first taken place in 1877. It is also one of just a few major tournaments to have remained at the same venue for its entirety.
Last month, matches on Centre Court at the 2017 Championships were played under a new state-of-the-art LED lighting system fitted by Musco Lighting, a US-based company that specialises in the design and manufacturing of sports and large area lighting solutions.
The new system has been designed to enhance broadcasters’ television output, with a focus placed on Centre Court’s retractable roof.
IMAGE: KSS Group