Wimbledon will throw open the gates to 100 per cent crowd capacity from Tuesday’s quarter-final onward, the club said on Sunday.
After keeping the public levels inside the ground at one-half during the first week, the shackles will fall away for the business end of the Grand Slam.
Fans have been told since the start to wear masks while walking the grounds; but the masses have been mask-free once seated at close quarters around the various courts at the All England Club,often screaming their lungs out as per usual.
Wimbledon bosses on Sunday touted their Week 1 achievements during what is being billed as a British government experiment to test the state of the country’s COVID situation by allowing crowds to gather.
“As agreed with the Government’s Events Research Programme and in consultation with our Local Authority in Merton, the AELTC is pleased to confirm that Centre and No.1 Court will feature 100% capacity crowds for the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals,” a statement read.
“This marks the first full outdoor stadiums at a sporting event in the UK since the pandemic began.”
The relaxation means that Centre Court will host nearly 15,000 for matches while No. 1 will hold its maximum of around 12,350.
All attendees will still have to show either a double vaccine jab or recent negative virus test to enter.
The easing will not come in time for what will be the last-ever edition of the unique “Manic Monday” tradition, where all 16 men’s and women’s fourth-round matches are played on the same day to start Week 2.
From next year, the event will scrap the middle Sunday day off for players and staff, instead squeezing in another profitable ticketed session on what had been a day of rest stretching back decades.
The idea behind the concept was to give the club’s suburban neighbors a brief respite from the thousands of fans who traipse daily through the leafy, green and upscale neighborhood during the tennis fortnight.
Main photo:- No 1 court crowd watching Emma Raducanu win 3rd round match ©AELTC/Ben Queenborough