With 2200 staff, Wimbledon has the largest European sporting catering operation with over 320,000 glasses of Pimms and 166,000 servings (34 tonnes) of strawberries consumed.
Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, it dates back to 1877 when sportsmen competed for the ‘All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club’ trophy. Ladies Singles and Men’s Doubles were added in 1884, Ladies Doubles and Mixed Doubles in 1913.
The Centre Court was not central between 1922 and 1997. The Centre Court was in the centre at the old site on Nursery Road (off Worple Road), but was not so positioned at the new site on Church Road (its current site) until the opening of additional courts which started in 1997.
There are 3 other Grand Slam events: the Australian Open, US Open and the French Open. The Wimbledon Championships is the only Grand Slam event played on grass.
5. Suites you sir
No advertising is allowed which makes Wimbledon unique amongst the Grand Slam events (and most sporting fixtures). Clothing must be plain white and umpires have been known to send players off to get changed.
6. Boys and Girls
All the Ball Boys and Ball Girls are selected from local schools with around 160 new faces each year and 90 returning from the previous year. They train weekly from the preceding February.
Bowing to the Royal box was abolished by the Duke of Kent in 2003 after he deemed it an anachronism. Players must now only bow to the royal box if the Monarch is in attendance, which is said to be as likely as a Brit winning the competition.
8. What a racket!
The Championships Stringing Team typically restring 2,000 rackets during the tournament, using 40 miles of racket stringing material (some plays prefer Nylon, others prefer ‘cat gut’ which is in fact made of sheep gut!).
They used to use white balls until 1986, when it was realised that yellow showed up on television much better. Slazenger has been supplying the balls since 1902 and it is the longest running sports partnership in history.
10. High Flying
They have a Harris Hawk in their employ: ‘Rufus’ the Harris Hawk is made to fly around 4 hours a day in order to ward off pigeons and their associated muck. It’s no secret that pigeons are a plague upon the capital, indeed the statue of Churchill in Parliament Square is electrified to discourage them.
Wimbledon is today considered the home of Tennis, and there is no better way to experience why than by being there for the Championships. If you would like to find out more about the hospitality packages we offer, get in touch: 0203 905 1705 / [email protected]