Wimbledon planning for reduced capacity with minimum position by April


Wimbledon organisers have begun planning to stage this year’s Grand Slam at a reduced capacity.

The All England Club is pushing forward with plans to stage the event at SW19 after begrudgingly cancelling the tournament last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a first since Second World War.

There have been three options for this year’s tournament though: it could be held behind closed doors, one with a maximum capacity of fans and the third choice to run the event at a reduced capacity, which now appears to be the most probable.

A Wimbledon statement read: “Our aspiration is to stage the best Championships possible – a trusted, best practice, safe event – with the health and safety of all guests, staff and competitors remaining our highest priority.

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“With five months remaining until the Championships, we are continuing to develop our detailed scenario planning and work closely with the relevant government and public health authorities to keep abreast of the latest developments in the fight against coronavirus.

“The majority of our planning focus is currently centred on the option of a reduced-capacity Championships and how that would affect each stakeholder group, but we are not yet in a position to rule out any of the other scenarios.”

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The PA news agency understands organisers are working on different scenarios for what that capacity could be, depending on the public health situation at the time and the need for social distancing.

The club intends to announce a minimum position in April, with the ability to scale up should conditions improve.

What organisers are keen to avoid is the scenario the French Open found itself in last year when, having sold tickets based on hopes of having 50-60 per cent of full capacity, the tournament was eventually played in front of only 1,000 spectators per day.

PA

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