Home Sport Wimbledon slapped with £250,000 bill after being forced to change finals weekend

Wimbledon slapped with £250,000 bill after being forced to change finals weekend

Wimbledon organisers are facing a hefty bill to repay fans who missed out on watching matches due to heavy rain during the tournament. The All England Lawn Tennis Club will be handing out refunds to the tune of £250,000 after a downpour in southwest London resulted in matches being postponed on Tuesday at SW19, with an amendment to the schedule of finals this weekend.

There was no play on the outside courts until 5pm and 75 of the 91 scheduled matches were cancelled. This meant that ticketholders with ground passes and tickets to Court No. 2 were not only left soaked from the weather but also unable to watch any of the action.

In total, 12 matches were carried over to the next day as showers rained down on the grounds throughout the day. Centre Court and No. 1 Court matches were fortunately unaffected as both arenas have retractable roofs to keep the rain out, but it has been a persistent problem for organisers on outside courts due to the bad weather.

Thousands of the estimated 35,000 people who turned up on Tuesday purchased the £25 grounds pass and £50 tickets for Court 2. In a statement released on Wednesday, Wimbledon confirmed those ticketholders will be entitled to refunds.

It read: “Ticket holders who purchased a No 2 Show Court ticket or a Grounds Pass before 5pm on Tuesday, July 9 are eligible for a full refund due to the rain delays and the resulting cancellation of matches.”

However, it added that the automatic refunds may take until the end of the month to clear due to “large volumes of refunds”. It is thought the number of tickets eligible for a refund will be in the region of around 7,500, resulting in a payout exceeding £250,000.

The impact of the delays and postponements has forced Wimbledon chiefs to rearrange the timings of matches ahead of the finals weekend. The two-week tournament has traditionally concluded with the men’s singles final on Sunday afternoon, and in 2023, Carlos Alcaraz beat Novak Djokovic in a memorable five-set encounter on Centre Court to win the title.

However, organisers have been forced to amend the schedule due to a huge backlog of postponed matches, with over 200 matches affected due to rain stopping play on outside courts. Play on outside courts was brought forward to 10.30am on Wednesday in an effort to clear the backlog of matches.

But the unprecedented pile-up of unplayed fixtures in the second week has seen the first rounds of the mixed doubles delayed, forcing the All England Club to push back the ladies’ doubles finals on Saturday.

The biggest change means that the mixed doubles final – initially scheduled to take place on Thursday – has been pushed back to Sunday and will close out this year’s tournament.


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