February 18, 2013
Each year, Centre Court tickets attract much greater buyer interest than Court One tickets – and therefore Court One prices are much lower than Centre Court tickets. It is not unknown for Centre Court tickets to sell out completely, with potential purchasers shunning available and cheaper Court One tickets. Last year, the publicity surrounding the new roof on Centre Court may have added to this state of affairs. Here are a few thoughts on why you should consider buying Court 1 tickets.
Certainly there are some good reasons why Centre Court attracts the big buyers and the big bucks:
- There is a huge prestige and tradition which draws people to Centre Court. There is undoubtedly a special atmosphere and if you want to impress your clients, Centre Court will cut it.
- There is a roof – so if there is rain, you are protected from having to retreat to the bar.
- The dining facilities. Centre Court dining facilities are wide ranging and varied.
- It is currently rare for Roger Federer and Andy Murray to play anywhere else.
But – there is also some compelling reasons why Court Number 1 is also a good bet and why you might weigh up your options if presented with the possibility of Court 1 tickets.
Obviously Court 1 ticket prices are much cheaper for most days than Centre Court. Prices can be anything from 30 to 60% cheaper. For a pair of tickets on some days that can be a thousand pounds when buying a pair. But even if prices are immaterial to you, there are many other factors to consider.
Matches can be more interesting and fun!
Yes really! Centre Court schedulers can be obliged to feature the likes of Roger Federer and Andy Murray on Centre Court. That is what the punters, sponsors and the TV schedulers expect and demand. The effect of the demands of the American TV networks on the Centre Court schedule is strong and not always beneficial. It is even suggested that the more attractive female players are featured on Centre Court.
It can sometimes mean some one-sided matches. Court One on the other hand has far greater flexibility to feature some more even handed matches with up and coming players or popular old timers like Hewitt or Haas. Americans are much more likely to see Andy Roddick on Court One there more often than on Centre Court.
A good example of this was on the quarter finals day in 2009. Centre Court featured Federer against Karlovic and Murray against Ferrero. Both were three setters with the outcome rarely in doubt. The main matches of the day were completed by 5pm.
But on Court 1, there was a good opener between Haas and Djokovic, with Haas scoring a four set upset, followed by a sizzling five set cliffhanger between Roddick and Hewitt. The match lasted until after 7 in the evening with a fantastic lively atmosphere.
Court 1 can also provide a venue for the lesser known British players to have their moment in the sun. With a British crowd this can create a tremendous atmosphere. The most memorable one recently was when Laura Robson was playing in the Juniors on Court 1 at the same time as a top level match was happening on Centre court. Those on Court Number 1 definitely had the better end of the deal that day watching a memorable and historic match.
The atmosphere can feel more relaxed on Court 1. Centre Court ushers are all from the armed forces. That has a certain distinctive effect on the atmosphere, appealing to some but not all. There is a lot of focus on the system and the rules. A uniformed officers used to barking orders at the troops have been known to bark at spectators and apply the rules in a rather rigid fashion which is not always customer friendly!
Court 1 ushers are civilians and some might feel they are friendlier and more customer focussed. When I temporarily mislaid my young nephew who had wandered off, the ushers on Court 1 were friendly and helpful, looked out for him, and then brought him in sent him into sit next to me. It is difficult to imagine that happening on Centre Court.
The spectators can also a bit more relaxed and friendly. Many tickets are distributed by the tennis clubs across the UK, so real tennis loving fans are coming into watch from all over the UK.
With Centre Court you have the Royal box and the celebrity parade and the large corporates. They are less likely to be real tennis fans and often banks of seats can be empty while they enjoy their corporate entertainment.
Other Court One Plus Points
Court One Refreshment and Dining Facilities
These are very pleasant, with a nice view of Wimbledon, a good bar and restaurant facilities. While not as grand or spacious as Centre Court, it is still very pleasant place to eat, chat and relax and mingle with other Debenture Ticket holders.
What about the roof and the rain?
It is very rare for whole days to be lost to rain, in 2009, there was only one affected day, but for only an hour. For far less than the cost of a Centre Court pair of tickets, you could insure your day against being rained off. Or even buy an extra pair for a different day, and cut down your risk.
What about both?
If you are buying for a party of people, why not buy some of both? Then you can experience the different courts with their different atmospheres.It is perfectly legitimate to do this and with the help of mobile phones and SMS it is easy to link up and swap around your debenture tickets.. We have had some clients who bought only Centre Court tickets but were delighted when they were able to gain access to Court One. They truly enjoyed the difference! Certainly some of my happiest Wimbledon memories are from Court One.
Whichever you choose – you will have a wonderful experience!