It’s that spectacular British sporting event which signals the real start of summer. Whether you are an avid tennis fan or just like an excuse to eat strawberries and cream and soak up the atmosphere, there’s no denying Wimbledon is an integral part of British culture. If you are headed to grounds or spectating from the comfort of your sofa, check out our top tips to smash down the costs.
1. Scoring Centre Court seats – If you missed out on the public ballot, there are still a number of tickets up for grabs. You can buy them on the day of play either online or at the venue. For the cheapest ones, go for the first two days, when you’ll pay £50 for Centre Court. Remember the last four days on Centre Court are not sold at the turnstiles so don’t queue for them – you’ll only be disappointed. Tickets are limited, so if heading to the turnstiles you’ll need to be there early - and don’t forget it’s cash only. It’s also worth checking out top tip no.3 for the chance to grab a bargain.
2. Ace ground tickets – Starting at £25, these are great value for money and widely available. The tickets will get you through the gates and then you can choose matches on the outside courts with standing room and unreserved seating across courts 3-19. They get cheaper as the weeks go on, but are also even cheaper if you go after 5pm.
3. Return shot upgrade – If you’re inside on a ground ticket then visit the ticket resale kiosk. After 3pm, any tickets that have been handed back in are sold off, with the profits going to charity. It’s hard to believe that people would leave early on the day, but many do, so take advantage. You might grab yourself a Centre Court ticket for just £10!
4. Final Sunday steal – If you’re really on a budget, then go on the last Sunday, 12 July, when a ground day ticket is just £8 before 5pm or £5 after. Okay, it’s a bit hit-and-miss what you will see, but you never know you might just catch the end of the men’s final on the big screen!
5. Serve up your sarnies with deuce – Avoid spending a fortune on food and drink by packing as much as you can into a bag that’s no larger than 40cm x 30cm x 30cm. They will allow one bag per person and each person is also permitted two cans of beer or one bottle of wine.
6. Set your sights on a big screen - If you can’t get to Murray’s Mound, chances are that the matches will be screened in a public square somewhere in your city. If the weather is good, make a day of it; pack a picnic, grab some friends and eat strawberries in the sunshine whilst cheering your favourite players!
7. Love your home comforts - If you’re not a fan of sitting out in the sun all day, then make the most of watching the matches with friends at home. Invite a bunch over or find someone with a widescreen TV and offer to bring some snacks.
8. And if you’re simply not interested in tennis… you could think about hosting an alternative Wimbledon party for those in your friendship group who are equally indifferent to the sport. Giant Jenga, anyone?
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