Why are there so many empty seats at Wimbledon? Are 2022 attendances down, prices, how to get resale tickets

Dozens of empty seats have been spotted at Wimbledon in a number of high profile fixtures including US open hero Emma Raducanu

Wimbledon 2022 is well underway with tennis aces from across the globe competing for one of the most prestigious prizes in sport.

It is coming up to the business end of the competition with the quarter-final games currently underway.

This year is the first year that Wimbledon has been able to take place at full capacity since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite tickets being like gold dust, fans of the tournament have been dismayed to see low attendances and empty seats throughout the courts. Why are there so many empty seats at Wimbledon?

Why are there so many empty seats at Wimbledon?

The All England Club has received a number of complaints from supporters and BBC presenter Sue Barker reported that there were “lots of empty seats” in a number of major fixtures, including those involving teenage sensation Emma Raducanu who won last year’s US Open.

In 2019, Wimbledon recorded the second highest attendance in the competition’s history. However, this year it is estimated attendances are down by almost 20,000 since 2019.

The empty seats are not due to the lack of demand from fans and have largely been attributed to the way in which tickets have been sold.

The normal procedure has seen a public ballot for tickets ahead of the tournament, but that did not happen this year, as people who had their tickets cancelled during the 2020 championships were offered seats for the same day and court this year.

In addition, during the first two days of the tournament there were technical issues at Wimbledon’s resale hubs which have further complicated matters and resulted in lengthy queues outside Centre Court. The normal procedure has allowed fans inside the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club to purchase the spot of fans who have left Centre Court.

Many of the empty seats have been situated in areas around the Royal Box, where tickets are often reserved for corporate guests and sponsorships meaning those with free tickets may have decided against taking them up.

There were rows of empty seats for US open hero Emma Raducanu when she faced Caroline Garcia. (Getty Images)

Can you still get Wimbledon tickets?

You can still buy rented ballot tickets for the final days of Wimbledon online, from the Wimbledon website.

Spectators can also join a queue at Wimbledon for tickets for that day’s events, though the queues can get very long.

Alternatively there is also the option to buy a ground pass for £27 which is reduced to £18 after 5pm each day. A ground pass gives access to courts three to 19 and The Hill where footage from Centre Court is screened live.

How much are tickets to Wimbledon?

For the first time this year, Wimbledon has introduced tiered pricing on Centre Court and No.1 courts with seats at the front costing more than those at the back. Hospitality packages prices start from £670.

Wimbledon ticket prices also vary based on the date and court.

  • Centre Court(Price band A): £75-£240
  • Centre Court (Price band B) £70 - £230
  • No.1 Court (Price Band A) £68 - £160
  • No.1 Court(Price Band B) £65 - £155
  • No.2 Court £43 - £90
  • No.3 Court £46 - £90
  • Ground passes £8 - £27 

How many people visit Wimbledon tennis championships each year?

Overall, a total of 42,000 spectators are allowed into the grounds at any one time, not including ticket re-sales, in 2019 around 500,000 spectators attended the then 13 day tournament, which was the second highest in Wimbledon history.

In the opening six days of the tournament in 2019, attendance figures were at a total of 256,808 in contrast 237,927 spectators have attended the corresponding days of this year’s event.