The British summer will truly begin on Monday 3 July, when the Wimbledon Championships will get underway for the 131st time.
World No 1 Andy Murray is the defending men’s singles champion and will be hoping to become the first British man to win the tournament three times since the legendary Fred Perry, who won the last of his titles in 1936.
Johanna Konta will meanwhile be flying the flag for Great Britain in the women’s singles and will be hoping to become the first British woman to reach the final since Virginia Wade, who beat Betty Stöve in the 1977 final.
Wimbledon is always one of the best attended sporting events in the country, with a grand total of 493,928 spectators passing through the gates last year. This total was boosted by an attendance of 24,623 on Middle Sunday.
But, with so many people attempting to purchase a ticket, actually securing a place at The Championships can be a notoriously fiendish process. But you can boost your chances of seeing some of the world’s best players up close on the lawns of SW17 by following the steps in this guide.
How to get tickets
There are four ways to obtain tickets for The Championships.
- Buying through Ticketmaster
- By Ballot
- Hospitality packages
Buying through Ticketmaster
By far the easiest way to purchase your ticket this summer is through the ticket retailer Ticketmaster.
Tickets for Centre Court and Court 3 will go on sale the day before play via the Ticketmaster website.
Prices for these tickets operate on a sliding scale, with the tickets getting more expensive as the tournament goes on. So a day one Centre Court ticket will set you back £56, while on Sunday 16 July – men’s final day – it will cost £190.
These tickets usually sell out within a matter of minutes, so we recommend registering for the Wimbledon email newsletter, which flags up when tickets are going to go on sale.
Secondary ticket websites – such as StubHub and viagogo – are another option for those desperate to attend. But be aware that tickets on these websites are usually sold for a grossly overinflated fee.
The Public Ballot for tickets was introduced way back in 1924 and has always been oversubscribed.
It is not possible to request tickets for specific days or courts in the ballot. Instead, a computerised selection process randomly selects a day and court and you get what you’re given.
Those wishing to enter the ballot had to submit their completed ballot applications by December 31 2016.
Successful applicants are then notified from February 2017 onwards, with tickets dispatched from mid-May to June.
Lucky enough to have bundles of spare banknotes lying hither and thither around your luxury penthouse suite? Thought not: this is The Independent after all.
But for those who enjoy the finer things in life (and don’t mind splashing the cash) hospitality packages to The Championships are of course available. Wimbledon has two official tour operators: Keith Prowse and Sportsworld.
Keith Prowse sell hospitality packages here in Great Britain, with prices beginning at £400pp.
There are a range of packages available, with some of the most exclusive charged at a bargain £5195pp.
For those of us who can’t afford a hospitality package or two – there’s always The Queue.
A limited number of Centre Court, No 1 Court and No 2 Court tickets are made available each day (except for the last four days on Centre Court) which means queuing fans have a chance to enjoy a day at The Championships.
Important: Tickets are sold strictly on the basis of one per person queuing and payment is by cash only.
Again, prices operate on a sliding scale and those who want to buy a ticket are advised to join The Queue well in advance of the 9.30am cut-off time. If you want to be sure of a ticket, you realistically have to get there the evening before.
What happens if I buy my ticket from a tout?
It’s really not advised. Ticket touts line the 15-minute walk from Wimbledon tube station to the grounds, all offering to buy and sell in their finest Dickensian accent.
But be warned. The Wimbledon website says: “All other tickets are strictly non-transferable and must neither be sold nor advertised or offered for sale whether on the internet, in newspapers or elsewhere. Any such tickets which are transferred, advertised or offered for sale will be void.”
A ticket from a tout may well be refused by Wimbledon staff, and there is little chance of a grizzled tout giving you your money back.