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Sunday, 11 June, 2000, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK
The quest for Wimbledon tickets
Centre Court
Centre Court - any chance of a seat?
Tickets for Wimbledon can be like gold dust, with most sold before the tournament even begins - but it is possible to see top quality tennis if you have a little luck and a lot of patience.

Most tickets for Centre Court and Court One are allocated by public ballot.

Applications for this must be received by the end of the previous year and it is always heavily over-subscribed. People who have been successful are notified in February and March.

Just the ticket

But Wimbledon is one of the few major sporting events that has tickets for sale on the day. You have to queue and the wait can be very long for the 500 show court tickets sold every day.

In addition, seats for Court Two are sold through the turnstiles as long as a full programme can be maintained.

This system continues until the final four days, when the semi-finals and finals are due to take place. All tickets for Centre Court on these days are sold in advance.

People queueing up can pay 7 at the turnstiles for admission to the ground. This gives them access to unreserved seating on all the outside courts, often the location of some of the most exciting matches of the tournament.

If show court ticket-holders leave the tournament early, they are asked to hand their tickets in. These are then re-sold to fans already in the grounds and the money donated to charity. They cost 5 before 5pm and 3 afterwards.

On middle Saturday, 2,000 reserved Centre Court open stand seats are available for sale at the turnstiles. There are also tickets for Courts One and Two and all prices are reduced for the day.

Members step forward

Less than 10 per cent of tickets are sold to companies and individuals for corporate hospitality. These are only sold through Wimbledon's official agents, Sportsworld Group for North America and Keith Prowse Hospitality for the rest of the world.

There is one more option, very useful for regular tennis players. The Lawn Tennis Association, its county associations and the various clubs and schools affiliated with it, are allocated some tickets for their members.

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See also:

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New balls please
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