September 12, 2014
It’s the tennis world’s most prestigious event, boasting worldwide media coverage, a history dating back over 100 years and royal attendance. When it comes to glamour and popularity, it’s very difficult to beat Wimbledon. The prestige and history of The Championships has made it one of the sport world’s most in-demand events. Every year, tens of thousands of people search for tickets to see the action at Wimbledon live and in person. Of those people, only a select few are able to secure tickets. From the world famous Wimbledon Queue to investing in the events through debentures, there are just four ways to get tickets to Wimbledon:
- Waiting (possibly overnight) in The Queue
- Taking part in the Wimbledon Public Ballot
- Buying debentures (or debenture tickets)
- Buying limited quantity tickets online
In this blog post, we’ll explain how you can buy tickets to see Wimbledon live, how each process works and the approximate cost of buying tickets to see live tennis on the Centre Court, No.1, No.2 Court or any of Wimbledon’s outer courts.
How can you buy tickets to Wimbledon?
There are four ways to buy tickets to Wimbledon: by queuing to buy a limited few public tickets at the turnstiles, by taking part in the ballot, by buying transferrable debenture tickets online or through Ticketmaster. Each of these processes has its ups and downs, ranging from cost to the amount of time involved. Let’s start with the most famous way to get tickets to Wimbledon – waiting in The Queue to buy public tickets.
Waiting in The Queue for tickets
Although Wimbledon has a reputation as an exclusive event, it’s actually one of the most open and fair sporting tournaments in the world. Every year, a limited number of premium tickets are made available on the day for queuing attendees. That’s a point of pride that few other sporting events can claim. Tickets to the courts are sold on the day to a single queue from the Gate 3 turnstiles, letting the public see some of the world’s top tennis players live. The Queue is a famous aspect of Wimbledon, and while it’s the perfect option for the passionate tennis fan willing to risk potentially missing out on tickets, it’s incredibly time consuming and not for those with a busy schedule. Queuing for tickets often involves camping overnight outside the grounds. Prices for tickets purchased through The Queue range from £39 for early games on the No.2 or No.3 courts to £119 for later-stage games on the Centre Court.
Full pricing information for Wimbledon 2015 can be found at the official Wimbledon website. It’s important to note that Centre Court tickets are not available during the last four days of the tournament from the turnstiles as all are presold or assigned. For those interested in watching minor games, Grounds Admission passes are sold on the day from £8 to £25 depending on the date. Discounted tickets are available after 5pm for attendees interested in watching evening games.
Taking part in the Public Ballot
Since 1924, the All England Tennis Club has organised a public ballot of tickets to the Wimbledon Championships. Due to the massive demand for tickets, the ballot tends to be massively oversubscribed and winning tickets is very unlikely. Despite this, taking part in The Ballot is a fun experience and those lucky enough to have their name drawn will get the chance to buy (tickets are not given away free of charge) tickets to Wimbledon based on a randomised selection process. The ballot works as follows: each household is allowed to place one entry for a pair of tickets to a random date and court. Winning entries are selected by computer and guarantee access to buy tickets, not attend the events for free.
While The Queue is ideal for passionate tennis fans, The Ballot is ideal for gamblers and risk-takers. You might not get tickets – or you might not get tickets to the event you want to see – but there’s always the possibility of securing a pair. Interested in entering The Ballot? The ballot for tickets to the 2015 Championships opened on the 1st of August this year. Prices for show court tickets are listed on the official Wimbledon website.
Buying resale debenture tickets
The easiest way to attend Wimbledon is by purchasing debenture tickets. Debenture tickets are passes given to debenture holders – people that invest in the Wimbledon Championships by owning debentures in the All England Lawn Tennis Ground plc. Debenture tickets are the only transferrable tickets that can be sold, and offer access to a variety of courts and dates. Debenture tickets are available for the Centre Court and No. 1 court for all dates of play. In addition to offering access to the two most exclusive courts, debenture seats have a number of additional benefits. Ticket holders gain access to the Debenture Lounge for their respective court, both of which contain an exclusive restaurant and bar. A total of 2,500 debenture seats available for the Centre Court, with 1,000 debenture seats available for the No.1 Court. As the most convenient option for attending The Championships, debenture tickets are always in hot demand with Wimbledon fans. Pricing information for debenture tickets is listed in our Buy Wimbledon Tickets for 2015 section. Debenture tickets start from £664 per pair for the No. 1 Court to more than £7,300 per pair for a pair of exclusive tickets to the Men’s Singles final. Both Centre Court and No. 1 Court debenture tickets grant holders access to all of the outside courts on a first come-first served basis. Ticket holders can also use the special cloakroom facilities located close to each court.
Buying tickets from Ticketmaster
Every year, an extremely limited number of Wimbledon tickets go on sale through online ticket merchant Ticketmaster. Tickets are only available for the Centre and No.3 Courts and go on sale the day before play is scheduled. Due to the huge demand for Wimbledon tickets, the few hundred tickets that are offered through Ticketmaster tend to sell out within minutes. Only a lucky few of Ticketmaster’s customers are quick enough to secure their tickets to the events.
The dangers of unauthorised tickets
Since September 1990, the All England Tennis Club has taken serious measures to prevent ticket scalping. Black market ticket reselling increases the price of tickets and ruins the merit-based nature of The Queue and The Ballot. The only Wimbledon tickets authorised for resale are debenture tickets, which are clearly marked as such. Tickets bought on the day or through the public ballot that are discovered being resold are immediately cancelled. Purchasers of illegal tickets don’t just part with significantly more money than those who obtained their tickets through The Queue or The Ballot; they’ll also be refused entry to The Championships.
Attending Wimbledon with children
Would you like to bring your children to Wimbledon? Tickets aren’t required for any children aged under five years, although the All England Tennis Club advises parents not to bring very young children in carriers or pushchairs to The Championships. Although children under five don’t need a ticket to enter, entry to the show courts is limited to those aged five and up. Small baby changing facilities are available on site, but no facilities are provided at Wimbledon for mothers to ‘express’ milk. If you’re attending Wimbledon with children aged five and up, they’ll need their own valid tickets. Any children under 12 years of age will also need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times during The Championships.