13 May 2019: 10:25 am
Roof construction at Wimbeldon's Court 1 completed
A three-year project to improve Court 1 at Wimbledon has been completed in time for this year’s season of tennis at the world-famous championships.
The No.1 Court Project will include a new fixed and retractable roof and an increased capacity that will offer 12,345 seats, which have all been replaced for improved comfort.
The roof was built by construction company, Sir Robert McAlpine, whose past projects have included Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and the capital’s Olympic Stadium.
A special event will be held this month by The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) to raise money for the Wimbledon Foundation’s new fund for the homeless A Roof for All.
The programme will include matches with tennis players John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Lleyton Hewitt and Goran Ivanisevic, as well as musical performances by Paloma Faith and Joseph Calleja, supported by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Grange Park Opera chorus.
The day will mark the first official deployment of the new roof, which now becomes the second of its kind since the Centre Court received its retractable roof in 2009.
An exhibition at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum due to run until March next year will celebrate the history of the No. 1 Court with a chance to view architectural plans and models and an audio-visual wall featuring special moments from matches over the years.
The foundation is also running an online auction with 50 prizes including tennis memorabilia and special experiences such as VIP tickets to see the Wimbledon finals, a champagne tasting tour of Reims and signed items by Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
AELTC chairman, Philip Brook, said: “The enhancements announced for 2019, in particular the successful completion of the No.1 Court Project, continue to reflect our confidence in the future and in our strategy of continuous improvement, to maintain Wimbledon’s place at the pinnacle of the sport.”
The auction will run until Monday, May 20, at www.wimbledonfoundationauction.com