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Wimbledon focusing on reduced capacity for 2021

The All England Club says staging the event with a reduced capacity is the most likely of its three planning scenarios.

Wimbledon Wimbledon

First the good news. Wimbledon is set to happen this year, having been cancelled in 2020 when the Tours were shut down because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

In an email on Thursday, the All England Club said it was still working on three scenarios; holding the Championships with full capacity, reduced capacity and playing it behind closed doors, but that the “majority of its planning” is on holding Wimbledon with a reduced capacity.

“Wimbledon will likely look very different”

“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,” Wimbledon said.

“While the roll-out of the vaccination programme in the UK is a very heartening development, it naturally remains too soon to know how this will impact public attendance at major events in the UK. Our approach will be to remain as agile as possible and leave enough flexibility in our planning to adapt as required to the prevailing conditions in the summer.”

“While we are committed to staging The Championships from 28 June to 11 July 2021 as planned, the Wimbledon Fortnight will likely look very different this year…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.”

Last year’s cancellation meant that Wimbledon was not staged for the first time since World War II, a decision they did not take lightly, although the fact that they were able to call on their pandemic insurance lessened the financial blow. The pandemic insurance is no longer in place, though, and so every effort will doubtless be made to stage this year’s event, pending government rules and restrictions.

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