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My wife and I are traveling to London this year and will be there for the start of Wimbledon 2017. While we'll be in London for 10 days, we'll only be there for the first two days of the tournament. We're staying in London near Trafalgar Square.

I'm trying to figure out if going to Wimbledon for a day is worth while. It looks easy enough to get to but I'm not sure about getting tickets. We're not huge tennis fans (but we're sport fans in general) so I'm thinking that Grounds Admission should be good for us - seems that will give us a chance to walk around and see things, etc...I realize we may not get to see actual play but that's OK with me.

So, my question is...are Grounds Admission to Wimbledon for day one or two of the tournament easier to get OR can I get them in advance without really overpaying? I'm not sure I want to take the trip there to stand in the queue only to not get tickets due to long lines.

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    If you don't get tickets in advance, you can queue up early to get tickets on the day. You may be waiting several hours, but if it's a nice day, you essentially sit in a park enjoying the sunshine. People often bring picnics, drinks, and ball games to pass the time. Still I would advise obtaining tickets in advance because entry is not guaranteed. – Calchas Mar 29 '17 at 7:33
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    You can queue on the day, get down there at 0500 hrs or earlier to have a chance to get a ticket to a court. Else you can get a ticket for ground entry which is also nice. You can see matches on the side courts. can I get them in advance without really overpaying It will never happen, you will overpay. Wimbledon tickets have many buyers at inflated prices. Unless you get a ticket in the ballot. – DumbCoder Mar 29 '17 at 7:59
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The short answer is - you aren't going to easily be able to get tickets. The All England Lawn Tennis Club Championships are a major national (and international) sporting and cultural event and as such demand is very high. There are two main ways to get tickets, and three less frequently used methods:

  • The Ballot - In advance, you enter in to a draw to determine who gets tickets. There is both a UK ballot (where most tickets are allocated) and an overseas ballot. An entrant does not get to decide what type or date of tickets they get (if any), and if successful, the entrant then pays the face value of the ticket. IF they can't make, or don't want the ticket, then they decline and it goes back in the draw. However for your purposes, both ballots for this year's tournament have closed. This is however the main way that tickets are sold.

  • Queueing on site - Tickets are in fact sold on the day. However, this is very, popular, and queueing begins in the afternoon of the day before. Reportedly for some weekends, queueing has actually been beginning two days before. Getting "show court" tickets definitely involves queueing overnight. Bring camping equipment if you intend to do this. The official AELTC website indicates that if you're satisfied with grounds tickets, it may be possible to simply come very early the morning you wish to attend " If you would like to queue for Ground Passes, it is advisable to join The Queue a few hours before the Grounds open at 9.30am." - recent contact with friends suggests that arriving around 05:00 on a weekday got them in without much concern of missing out. Tickets are also resold to the queue as people leave the tournament, normally towards the end of the afternoon. I believe they are resold to whoever is at the front of the queue at that point. If you are dedicated enough to this approach, you will get in. The question is how much do you want to go.

  • Debentures - Every 5 years, these are sold to fund development of the facilities. Their cost at the last offer was £50,000 for centre court, and £13,700 for court one. Holders of a Debenture receive a seat ticket for every day of the tournament on centre, or the first 10 days on court one. These tickets are permitted to be resold. There is no opportunity for you to buy a debenture before the tournament, but you may be well connected enough to know somebody who holds one and would be willing to give or sell you their ticket for your day(s) of interest. You will know if that applies to you.

  • Corporate Packages - These are your best opportunity I feel, although extremely expensive. Corporate hospitality packages, that combine tickets with tours, accommodation and more. The two official providers for overseas sales are Pure Wimbledon and Wimbledon Experience. Prices start from £355 for your days of interest.

  • Ticketmaster, day before only - I've never heard of anybody getting a ticket this way, and I suspect if you choose to pursue it, your odds of succeeding are very poor, however apparently "several hundred" tickets are sold the day before only on Ticketmaster. If you are interested in this, then you should register for the email newsletter, which will describe the process. Counting on this approach seems bound to lead to disappointment, however one could well attempt it, and then plan to join the queue if they failed to secure tickets.

Information in this answer comes from knowing people who have used the first two methods, and the official website, especially the page "Tickets - all you need to know"

It's worth noting that if you get grounds tickets, you will absolutely be able to see actual play - you will have the opportunity to walk up to all courts except Centre, No1, No2 and No3. You'll also be able to view the big screens of "Henman Hill". It may get very crowded around courts where major stars are playing however. However, in the last few days of the tournament, all matches take place on "Show" courts, and grounds-only tickets are no longer available.

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    I wanted to include a photo of the queue - it's quite interesting, but can't find anything without copyright. Feel free to add it in if you get a good one. – CMaster Mar 29 '17 at 8:07
  • Nice, I thought ground tickets would be reasonably easy to find. – Max Mar 29 '17 at 9:41
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    @Max if you show up early enough, you'll get them. The question is what counts as "early enough". – CMaster Mar 29 '17 at 9:54
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If you want to go, get tickets NOW; whether only ground tickets or court tickets.

The thing is, if you want to go and do not have tickets when you are in London, it will be a bummer.

Getting to the "All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club" from Trafalgar Square takes around 1 hour (says google) so it is feasible and could be a fun day.

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    Do you know of a reputable place to get tickets in advance? The AELTC does not seem to have them for sale yet nor does ticketmaster. – Jason Reljac Mar 28 '17 at 23:58
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    @JasonReljac and they never will. I will explain in the answer I'm about to write. – CMaster Mar 29 '17 at 7:36

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