Wimbledon Tennis Championships

What is it?
Wimbledon is the biggest event in the tennis calendar. The tournament has a long history dating back to 1877, but what makes it really unique is the surface. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that still uses grass. Add temperamental weather, sell-out passionate crowds and the All England Club’s ivy clad buildings and it’s easy to see why Wimbledon remains the crown jewel in the tennis game. But it not just about tennis; in 2002, spectators munched their way through 34,000 kgs of strawberries, drank 60,000 pints of Pimms, 312,500 bottles of water and 14,000 bottles of Champagne.

Where can I do it?
You can’t play, but you can watch. The championship is held on 19 courts including the two show courts, Centre and No 1 court, and runs from Monday 23rd June to Sunday 6th July. It takes place in…Wimbledon, South London.

How difficult is it?
Tickets are scarce and sell out well in advance. However, some seats are reserved for purchase on the day and prime show court tickets can be found if you’re determined. The queues start at 7.00pm each night. People bring tents and lots of alcohol to make it through to 1.00am when the Official Queue Organisers arrive to give you a number marking your place in the queue (very English.) Around 10am, the Queue Organisers will give you a plastic bracelet which allows you to purchase a ticket when the courts open at 1.00pm. Alternatively, phone up your classmate who works for a hedge fund, and ask him/her to tap their sources.

What kit do I need?
According to the official website, visitors dress code is Smart/Casual – unless attending a hospitality area, Debenture Lounge or as a Member’s guest when jacket and tie are appropriate. If queuing overnight, bring a tent, sleeping bag and a crate of beer. Tickets cost from $25-$100.

Heidi Bryson (NJ):
“Another way to get to Wimbledon is to go about 4pm each day and get a day pass for the evening. There is a specific box selling return tickets but the best thing to do is to harass people as they come out of Center Court or Court 1. You can get a good few hours tennis in whilst sipping champagne and eating strawberries. The advantage of this approach is that you can decide whether to go or not, based on the weather that day. This is ideal since Wimbledon gets rained off more than any other tennis tournament! (although sometimes when it gets rained off they get Cliff Richard to sing to everyone….can be seen as a consolation, I think not?!!) But Wimbledon really is a fantastic day out. I’d highly recommend it. And if you have any spare tickets, you know where to reach me…!”

April 28, 2003
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