Wimbledon 'confident' more than 25% of fans can attend 2021 tournament

Wimbledon says it is “confident” more than 25% of fans will be allowed to attend when the tournament returns to the All England Club next month.

Following a number of UK test events with crowds, organisers said they had received “early positive indications” about increasing ticket capacity.

It is hoped all UK limits on social contact will be removed from 21 June.

Wimbledon, which will return on 28 June, can welcome a daily total of 42,000 fans in normal circumstances.

In 2019, when the 13-day tournament was last held, 500,397 spectators attended in total.

The championships were cancelled last year – for the first time since World War Two – because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The All England Club is continuing to leave some decisions on this year’s event – including ticketing and prize money – until as late as possible because of the ongoing uncertainty about the easing of restrictions.

Online ticket sales are not expected to begin before the middle of June.

“We are confident we will be able to increase our ticketing capacities for the championships this year beyond the minimum 25% position we set out last month,” said organisers.

"This confidence is based in particular on the reintroduction of the rule of six indoors in restaurant settings from 17 May, and early indications that stage four guidance could include similar relaxations of the guidance for sports stadia.

“However, we also understand that there remains much discussion amongst government and public health authorities on this topic in light of the Indian variant, and we are committed to remaining flexible in our approach so that we are able to react accordingly.”

Original article 19.05.21 on the BBC Sport website

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