Wimbledon is one of the only major UK sporting events where you can buy premium tickets on the day of play. If you've never done it, here's an insight on how to get tickets for Wimbledon, so you're not left 'out' in the cold.
Number of tickets available each day...
Centre Court - approximately 500 tickets (except for the last four days)
No.1 Court - approximately 500
No.2 Court - approximately 500 (whilst the court is still in use)
Several thousand Grounds Admission Passes are available each day, subject to grounds capacity.
When you need to get there...
There's no exact rule as it all depends how many people show up, but in general for Centre Court and No. 1 Court tickets you will need to queue overnight and camp, arriving as early as you can possibly manage the day before.
This year (2013) for the first day of the tournament queuers started arriving very early on Sunday morning. By around 6am on Sunday most of the places (first 500) for Centre Court tickets on Monday were taken. Most of the places for No . 1 Court tickets were taken by around 2pm.
As the rounds progress and the number of matches decreases, the demand for tickets changes throughout the fortnight (it also depends on the weather and how well Murray is playing!) and so these times vary throughout the tournament. This means it is still possible to get up early on the day and get tickets to a show court, although a Grounds Admission Pass is more likely.
Just want to be there?
It you're not too bothered about getting onto a show court and are happy to wander around the outside courts (there's always some great tennis to be enjoyed) or even just have a Pimm's on Murray Mound, a Grounds Admission Pass is achievable by turning up on the day. Why not go after work? At 5:30pm people start to leave and the passes are reduced in cost. You can also purchase resale tickets for the show courts – a great way of getting in late on the action.
Queueing for the Wimbledon Championships starts at Wimbledon Park, just over the road from Wimbledon Tennis Club. Both Southfields and Wimbledon Park tube stations are of equal distance as the crow flies, but Wimbledon Park is often the quicker option, as you can walk straight through the park rather than along the congested paths at the side of the road from Southfields station.
How The Queue works...
When you arrive at The Queue you will be pointed to the end by a steward. If you're arriving the night before, you can then put your tent up in your space, keeping to the right of the queuing line.
You will then be issued with a Queue Card. This card is dated and numbered to show your position. Do not lose this ticket! It's the only way you'll be able to prove your position in the crowd and you need to show it to obtain your ticket. If you set-up a tent, stay with it until you've got your card – if you're not there when they're being issued you've lost your place!
If you're camping overnight, quiet time starts at 10pm, which is for the best - you will be awoken very early in the morning. The Wimbledon website suggests a steward will wake everyone around 6am, but in reality you will likely be woken by other campers packing up much earlier – around 4:30 – 5am. Other non-camping queuers will also have started to arrive. You will then need to pack up and get your camping equipment to the Left Luggage facilities situated at the campsite (note: only one bag per person is allowed in the grounds) ready for when The Queue starts to move.
The Queue doesn't actually start moving until around 7am. Those at the front, in place for a precious show court ticket, will be issued with a wrist band for the court they wish to gain entrance to. At this point you can allow yourself to start getting excited!
If you're in position for a show court, you should be in the grounds by around 10am. And if you're lucky, you will end up with one of these :-):
Whether you're there or watching on the TV, we hope you enjoy your Wimbledon experience. And come on Murray!