The Building of Wimbledon’s No. 1 Court Roof10 June 2015


It was announced by Wimbledon Tennis Club in April 2013 that they intended to build a new, retractable roof on the iconic Court No.1 in time for The Championships in 2019.

Having introduced a roof to Center Court in 2009 with a similarly retractable design, the decision was made to create one for Court No.1 also. This would provide a total of over 26,500 spectators worth of seating for any weather conditions.

Construction

The construction costs for the refitting of Centre Court was put at somewhere between £100-150m and whilst the new roof should cost less to that due to its reduced size, there are still a number of major logistical concerns to work around.

The massive amount of power required to use the retractable roof means that a new electricity sub station needs to be built close by. This extra power would not just be used to retract and open the roof but also to provide for the huge amount of air conditioning required to maintain the right conditions for the grass.

Benefits

One of the main reasons behind getting the roof put in is to keep up with other holders of major tennis opens who have similarly improved facilities. The Australian Open has two roofs already with a third on the way and the French Open is also looking to introduce roofs but is facing logistical issues currently.

Time Frame

The construction is likely to begin between the French Open and The Wimbledon Championships this year (2015) as it’s a three week period that is relatively quiet in the tennis calendar. Despite the fact there are no active competitions though, the club itself is a massively busy, world class professional tennis club and the disruption caused by such a huge build will certainly be felt.

The announcement of the new roof coincided with a bump to the prize fund as well and it’s been speculated that the move to get the new roof installed was closely linked to that. The total prize pool is rising to £6.5m, of which there will be a £1.6m prize for both the male and female singles champions. There will also be a boost of just over 60% for singles players who go out in the first rounds. For instance first round losers will get £23,500 which is an increase of £9,000 from the previous year, 2012.

With the increase in prize money and increased pressure from the international circuit to keep up to date, it was no wonder that Wimbledon moved forwards on the plans for the new roof. The possibility of seating almost 27,000 people in any condition is certainly exciting and adds even more spectacle to what is already one of England’s most legendary sporting events. Let’s hope the building goes smoothly though and we don’t miss out on any Tennis this summer!


Morgan Asphalte are on hand to provide high quality roofing repairs and renovations to customers throughout Wimbledon and the wider London area. Get in touch today to find out more.


Posted in Wimbledon Roof.
 

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