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Why there are empty seats at Wimbledon 2024 despite huge queues for tickets


Empty seats in stands at Wimbledon

Empty seats can be a familiar site at Wimbledon (Picture: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Wimbledon has entered its second week and once again, tickets for the prestigious tennis Grand Slam are the hottest in town.

But as matches begin, it’s common for viewers to be dismayed by the number of empty seats in the stands, given that the Championships is always sold out.

Last year saw the All England Club receiving complaints about empty seats on the show courts – including Centre Court – especially when thousands of people have queued for hours just to get inside the grounds.

So why are there often so many empty seats and can you still get tickets?

Let’s find out.

Why are there empty seats at Wimbledon?

Many of the empty seats have been around the Royal Box, which is usually reserved for corporate attendees or members of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

David Beckham and mum Sandra (L) have made the trip to Wimbledon this year (Picture: Getty)

Gaps have also been linked to corporate hospitality, with some visitors spending more time in the club’s famous bars and restaurants than watching the tennis.

Anyone with a full-price ticket has access to the same seat all day, so after a long match it’s common for many people to leave for a comfort break and food, which can lead to empty seats at the start of the next match.

Are there tickets to Wimbledon still available?

While all the Public Ballot tickets have been allocated, it’s still possible to queue on the day.

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Thousands of Ground Passes are up for grabs each day, priced at £30 (reduced prices from day nine onwards), plus 500 ‘premium seats’ on Centre Court, Court No 1 and Court No 2.

The Grounds Passes enable you to access all outside courts including No.3 Court, Court 12 and Court 18, as well as The Hill, where action is shown on a big screen from Centre and No.1 Courts.

To be sure of getting in, it’s best to join the queue by 9am at the absolute latest (much earlier or overnight if you’re hoping for a show court ticket), and do be prepared to be in it for several hours. You’ll be given a ticket with a number so you can pop to the portaloos if needed.

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