Wimbledon’s famous queue will not operate for this summer’s Championships, the All England Club has confirmed.
The snake of people and tents in Wimbledon Park has become one of the defining sights of the event as tennis fans camp out overnight to secure access to the show courts. Coronavirus restrictions mean tickets will be distributed differently this year, and there will also be no reselling of tickets within the grounds.
Tournament organisers are working on the basis a reduced number of fans will be allowed into the grounds but are trying to be as flexible as possible to accommodate whatever social distancing requirements are in force in June and July.
“Both the queue and ticket resale remain much-loved and important Wimbledon traditions and we look forward to their return in 2022,” an official statement read. The tournament is set to take place between 28 June and 11 July this summer after last year’s event was cancelled amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wimbledon expects an online platform for general ticket sales opening in June for this summer’s event. Everyone who secured tickets through the public ballot for the cancelled 2020 tournament will be given the opportunity to purchase the same tickets for 2022.
It had already been revealed that players, their support teams and officials would be required to stay in official hotels rather than private houses, while the invitation doubles events for former tennis greats will not be held.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club chairman, Ian Hewitt, said: “These remain challenging and uncertain times and our thoughts continue to be with all those affected by the pandemic. Although the promise of a return to a more normal existence is on the horizon, we are not there yet.”
Hewitt added: “As such, we have taken some key decisions in order to provide us with some certainty in our planning and yet also to retain flexibility where we need it the most. We remain committed to delivering on our aspiration of staging the best championships possible.
“In line with the UK government’s roadmap, we are cautiously optimistic that the championships will play an exciting role as the country begins to embrace a return towards normality.”
The AELTC also revealed it hopes to commence development of the Wimbledon Park site next door in 2022, with the intention of staging qualifying for the main tournament within the grounds by 2028.