The players may be long gone from Wimbledon but the planning for next year can now begin. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. Eilis Brennan discusses four ways for prospective punters to get their hands on tickets for the action at SW19.
1. The Ballot
The ballot is basically a lottery. You enter and hope your name gets picked. The ballot is open from the end of August for us overseas people and it closes around Christmas time. Everything’s done online so there’s no hassle with post. If you are one of the lucky ones, you’ll get an email saying what tickets you received from February until early June. Anything from the first round to final is available.
This year, they changed it slightly. Instead of getting your tickets in the post, you collect them from the ticket office at Wimbledon on the day. Much handier because you don’t end up frantically searching your bag every ten minutes making sure you’ve got the tickets.
Just don’t forget your confirmation email and ID.
p.s. Don’t forget to smugly sneer at the queuing crowds as you saunter through the gates.
2. The Queue
This is probably the most fun way to get tickets to tennis’ premier event. People turn out in their thousands everyday, hoping to get into Wimbledon.
Lots of people join it in the morning. People could start arriving from four or five a.m. You’re given a queue card on arrival so no one will skip you. Nothing worse than a queue-jumper inthis writer’s esteemed opinion.
If you want tickets for Centre or Court 1, it’s advised to camp overnight to increase your chances. It’s a fantastic atmosphere and really well-organised. Stewards are there all night, toilets open 24 hours and food available from about 5am or 6am. You’re woken up around 5, leave your tent at luggage and wait for things to move.
If you stay overnight, you can get pizzas delivered to you in the queue. Nothing like sitting in the park eating pizza as Centre Court looms in the background.
Some tickets are put up on Ticketmaster 48 hours in advance. If you’d like tickets for the Tuesday, they’ll be online on Sunday. It’s really handy if you’re in the London area and fancy a day at the tennis.
4. Debenture ticket resales?
Debenture holders can sell their tickets through approved retailers such as WimbledonDebentureHolders.com for days when they are unable to attend. These tickets are pricey but offer exclusive access to lounges, restaurants and bars that represent a truly unique Wimbledon experience. For those who have the funds and don’t want to risk the queue on the day, this is the perfect alternative.
Top Tips for Wimbledon
Get a sausage roll from The Bakery by Court 2. They are superb. Delicious sausage and stuffing wrapped in buttery, flaky pastry.
Buy a programme. The ultimate souvenir. It doesn’t just have the order of play but all the draws, interviews with players, articles and lists of past champions.
Aorangi Pavillion for autographs. By the practice courts is the best place to get autographs from players. The majority of them will stop and sign. Federer, Nadal and Murray are particularly good. Two certain players didn’t stop….I’m not naming names! *cough* Williams *cough*
Wear comfortable footwear. The amount of people stumbling around in heels and flip-flops is mad! There’s a lot of walking around and standing so flat shoes are the way to go.
Visit the museum. It may be £12 but I’d recommend it, especially if it’s your first visit. Unbelievable amount of memorabilia – and there’s a talking hologram of John McEnroe. Winner!
Sit on Henman Hill/Murray Mount and watch some matches on the big screen.
Pimms and Strawberries and Cream…..need I say more?
Eilís Brennan, Pundit Arena