How Does This Wimbledon Ticket Queue Thing Really Work?
Time For Tennis?
Ok, now you have your ticket you’re done waiting and can see some tennis, right? Not quite, a couple more hurdles to get through. If you are at the very front of the queue, you may have gotten your ticket before 9:30 when the front of the grounds open so you’ll have to wait in the ticket area typically congratulation/commiserating with your new queue friends about what court tickets you got. At 9:30 a very small section of the grounds open but the rest doesn’t open for another hour at 10:30.
10:30am, the stewards lead fans walking into the grounds and finally move away and let everyone have the freedom to head for wherever they chose. Make sure you have a clear idea of where you want to go and make a beeline for that. Whether it’s a particular outer court (insider tip) or a prime spot on Henman hill.
Now you’re in the homestretch. Are you still awake? One more hour- play on the outer courts begins at 11:30. Finally, time to enjoy some tennis- that’s what all this was for, right? Play doesn’t begin on Centre and Court 1 until 1p so there is time to watch other matches or hang out on Henman Hill. Having the Wimbledon app on your phone or at least an iPod where you can listen to the audio commentary is super helpful in terms of keeping up to date on the scores and knowing where there may be a great match to check out.
Back To the Queue...You Must Be Kidding
Players will have scheduled matches every other day. So if your favorite player won and you want to see their next match, you will need to get back into the queue the very next day. So enjoy the tennis, have a nice dinner and get a goodnight’s sleep in an actual bed and then get back into the queue the following day probably around mid-day to be in top 500. The exact time varies by who is scheduled and the weather but a good rule of thumb is there is no such thing as being too early. Arriving by 6-7p should place you in the top 1000.
Days 2-5 (Tues-Fri)
During the first week the crowds are relentless. It is truly amazing how many thousands of people there are waiting in this park everyday. By now you should have an idea of how the queue works, what to expect and hopefully have seen some great tennis.
Middle Weekend Days 6-8 (Sat-Mon)
What makes makes Wimbledon special and unique are all the traditions of this 129 year old tournament including the no-play day on the middle Sunday. This means that while there are no matches on Sunday, everyone plays on Monday. Manic Monday at Wimbledon is probably the best tennis day of the year with all men’s and women’s 4th round matches being played.
There is a huge demand for Manic Monday Wimbledon tickets so if you want Centre Court tickets for this day, be prepared to be queuing for a long time! You really have to arrive mid-day Saturday and queue for nearly 48hrs to have a shot. The process is a bit confusing and different than the other days' queuing. If you’re not prepared to spend 2 days camping, don’t worry! With 16 matches all on one day, there will be some amazing tennis on the other show courts, Court 1 and Court 2, so even being in the top 1000-1500 you will have a great time. So show up as soon as you can on Saturday.
One thing to realize, if you have been queuing for a particular player and they play on that Saturday you are going to have a tough decision. You are not going to be able to get queue show court tickets for both Sat and Mon since by the time you would exit the tennis on Sat evening and return to the queue there will be several hundred people already ahead of you. This is one of the frustrating things about Wimbledon and the whole queue process. Since the 2nd Monday is a special day, I would probably choose that but it is tough to be sitting in a field when your favorite player has a match that you are desperate to see.
If you do plan on doing the weekend camping marathon for Manic Monday tickets, it is a pretty cool experience. Since you’ll be spending a long time in your spot in the queue you will really get to know your neighbors and some of the other die-hard tennis fans there as well. 5 years after my 1st Wimbledon weekend camping experience, I’m still in touch with a friend I made waiting in the queue. We were the only 2 people camping without tents! We lucked out-there was no rain that year but I would not suggest this!
The queue cards for Monday are typically not handed out until mid-day Sunday so there is not much you can do other than wait, try to follow the scores of the Sat matches and hang out with the other fans. Many people will be showing up throughout the day on Sat but this will slow down as the queue numbers get into 1500 or so and there is no point camping for a show court ticket anymore. Sunday is a day in the queue unlike any other. Since there is no tennis and no Sunday queue line, you don’t have to disassemble your tent and have the usual big morning rush. You can sleep late and relax and continue to wait for the Mon queue cards. The Sunday queue has such a relaxed vibe and if the weather is nice, you are basically just hanging out in a park all day! The streets are really quiet and its like everything shuts down for the day. One more night’s sleep and then the whole morning queue process again! After what feels like the longest wait ever, you will finally get to see some amazing tennis and being that this is the 4th round should be some close competitive matches.
I’ve seen more of Wimbledon Park than any actual tennis!
At this point, you are probably sick of camping, the queue and overall roughing it. If you are a crazy die-hard fan (like me) and want to get a ticket for the quarterfinals here is what you have to do. The ladies quarterfinals are on the 2nd Tues while the mens are the following day. This is your last opportunity to queue for Wimbledon tickets. No Semifinals or Finals tickets are sold through the queue although you may camp just to sit on Henman Hill which a decent number of people do (although much, much less than the prior days). After that, its goodbye to Wimbledon for another year but tennis keeps on going. The North American hard court swing gets underway... Match Point Travel will have everything you need to know for a trip to the upcoming Cincinnati Masters and US Open! Contact me via email, Facebook or Twitter with any questions!