The All England Lawn and Tennis Club (AELTC), which organises the Wimbledon tennis tournament, has provided an update on the renovation of its No.1 Court stadium and detailed a number of new initiatives ahead of this summer’s championships.
The No.1 Court project continues to serve as the main focus of the Wimbledon Master Plan and is currently two thirds of the way through a three-year timeline. This year, the new fixed roof has been completed, with 2,300 tons of steel having been delivered to the grounds so far in 2018.
The AELTC said that, on an average day, 750 people are working on the No.1 Court roof project. The AELTC will host a celebration event for the court on May 19, 2019 in support of the Wimbledon Foundation.
A new two-level public plaza named The Walled Garden has also been opened, along with a new, larger big screen for The Hill and the refurbishment of seven hospitality suites.
A host of other elements of the Master Plan are currently at the development, planning and design stages, including improvements to the Somerset Road site; the relocation of six clay courts on the main site; six new indoor courts and improved indoor facilities; construction of an underground car park; an additional floor for the museum building; a revamp of the AELTC Community Sports Ground at Raynes Park; a refurbishment of the millennium building; and an offer from the AELTC for the Wimbledon Park Golf Club.
As part of plans to step up its sustainability efforts, the AELTC has also announced that no plastic straws will be used during this year’s tournament. Jaguar, the official car of Wimbledon, will also introduce 10 electric vehicles into the courtesy car fleet for the first time.
A paper bag option will also be provided at Wimbledon shops, while the number of free water refill points has been increased to 87, along with 21 water fountains. The AELTC said that water points have increased by 93 per cent since 2014. Monitoring and finetuning of waste streams and signage will also be implemented.
Additionally, the AELTC has moved to further enhance the fan experience by announcing that spectators in The Queue will be able to pay for their tickets or grounds pass using contactless and other card payments. The Queue will also have free-of-charge public Wi-Fi for the first time, with fans to be given access to a live stream of Wimbledon’s Big Screen while they wait. Centre Court’s courtside restaurant has also been refurbished.
The 2018 Wimbledon Championships will run from July 2-15.
Image: Michael Frey