THE 130th CHAMPIONSHIPS, 2016
Press information from The Championships, Wimbledon:(April 26, 2016) London, UK: The All England Club, Wimbledon, has today underlined its continuing commitment to the future of tennis with the announcement of increased investment in the players, integrity, the Master Plan and the enhanced grass court season.
Competitors at The Championships 2016 will receive £28.1m in total prize money, a 5% increase of £1.35m. The singles champions will each receive £2.0m, a rise of 6.4% from £1.88m in 2015. The staging of the first Wheelchair singles events at Wimbledon also introduces significant prize money increases for Wheelchair tennis players.
Wimbledon’s existing commitment to integrity in tennis and at The Championships will be further reinforced with investment in a number of additional measures, including stricter accreditation procedures, additional data provision, monitoring and analysis, increased education and support for players and officials, and increased anti-doping measures.
No.1 Court continues to be the current focus of the Wimbledon Master Plan. The project, which includes a new retractable roof, an extra 900 seats, a new public plaza in the place of Court 19 and new hospitality facilities, will be part-funded by the proceeds of the 2017-2021 No.1 Court debenture issue.
Following the successful addition of an extra week to the grass court season in 2015, the grass court season will be further enhanced in 2016 with the introduction of a WTA tournament in Mallorca. 2017 will see the re-introduction of a combined event at Eastbourne, a new combined event in Nottingham and more than double the amount of prize money, funded by the AELTC, for ATP Challenger and ITF Women’s Pro Circuit grass court events.
Philip Brook, Chairman of the AELTC, said: “Wimbledon is strongly committed to supporting the future of tennis through investment in players, in integrity, in our facilities and in the grass court season.”
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2016
Wheelchair Singles at Wimbledon
Gentlemen’s Wheelchair Singles and Ladies’ Wheelchair Singles events will be held at Wimbledon for the first time. The eight-draw singles will start on 7 July, concluding with the Ladies’ Wheelchair Singles final on 9 July and the Gentlemen’s Wheelchair Singles final on 10 July.
Prize money will be a total of £28.1m, an increase of £1.35m (5%) on £26.75m in 2015. The Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Singles Champions will each receive £2.0m, a 6.4% increase from £1.88m in 2015.
In the last five years the total prize money has increased from £14.6m in 2011 to £28.1m in 2016, with the singles champions’ prize money increasing to £2.0m from £1.1m.
Doubles continues to play an important role at The Championships and there is an average 3.1% increase in the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Doubles. Total Wheelchair singles and doubles prize money will be £200,000, a significant increase on 2015.
The players’ website has been further enhanced to include personalised access to match videos and statistics, racket stringing and catering details. Wifi will be available in all courtesy cars.
30th Anniversary of the Last 8 Club
2016 marks the marks the 30th anniversary of the Last 8 Club, a concept founded by the All England Club. Membership celebrates the achievement of players who have reached the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Singles quarter-finals, the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Doubles semi-finals and the Mixed Doubles final.
Chairman’s Special Guests
The Chairman’s Special Guests will be Manolo Santana (50 years since winning in 1966), John McEnroe (35 years since winning in 1981), and Michael Stich (25 years since winning in 1991).
The safety and security of all visitors to The Championships is of paramount importance. Throughout the year the AELTC has been working closely with the Metropolitan Police to ensure that The Championships will be as secure as possible and that security measures are comprehensive and proportionate with the threat level in the UK. This will include extensive searches of the person, bags and vehicles on entry to the Grounds and Show Courts and the public are requested to help with entry procedures by checking the latest information on Wimbledon.com before travelling.
The AELTC works closely with the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slams as one of seven partners in the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). In January 2016, the partners announced an Independent Review and have committed to implementing and funding all the recommendations of the review. Pending publication of the findings, Wimbledon has invested in additional integrity measures for The Championships:
- Accreditation procedures intensified: Increased communication to certify that all accredited individuals are fully informed that any form of gambling (defined as betting, assisting betting or the use/supply of information for betting on Championships’ tennis matches whether such activities are inside or outside the Grounds) on Wimbledon matches continues to be strictly prohibited under the terms and conditions of accreditation to The Championships.
- Additional data security: Video images and two sources of data to be captured on all courts for all main events, including at Qualifying, to increase the ability of the TIU and betting operators to prevent potential opportunities for corruption caused by time delays and for any discrepancies to be reviewed.
- Increased data monitoring: Working with IBM, the TIU and the betting industry to monitor and analyse match data, betting data and odds data in the event of a discrepancy or a betting alert, while noting that a betting alert on its own is not proof or even evidence of match-fixing. If analysis does suggest corrupt activity, the TIU will open an investigation. Where appropriate, every effort will be made to communicate the occurrence of and reasons behind any alerts to the media. There were no betting alerts at The Championships 2015.
- Increased education and support: Verifying that all officials and players have undergone the Tennis Integrity Protection Programme (TIPP) programme, the TIU’s interactive online Q&A system designed to familiarise players with tennis’s anti-corruption rules and the tactics typically employed by would-be corruptors. Players, officials and key stakeholders also to be made aware of additional resources for reporting of any suspicious activity.
- Enhanced anti-doping provision: The AELTC is one of the partners in the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP), which is administered and enforced by the ITF. Anti-doping testing is carried out independently of the tournament organisers in accordance with the provisions of the WADA Code and the 2016 TADP. In addition to the TADP In-Competition testing, the AELTC will be implementing additional anti-doping measures for The Championships 2016, the details of which are required to remain confidential.
Richard Lewis, Chief Executive of the AELTC, said: “Our increased investment in promoting integrity in light of the recent focus on these areas underlines our determination for Wimbledon to play its part in safeguarding the integrity of tennis and securing the public’s faith in our sport.”
Grounds / Courts
In line with one of the objectives of the Master Plan to increase the overall number of unreserved seats around the Grounds, additional seats have been re-allocated so that three-quarters of No.3 Court is now available to Grounds’ ticket holders. The Grounds capacity remains at 39,000 people with the daily maximum depending on the number of courts in play and the weather conditions.
Following a successful trial period, all 360 writing desks in the Press Centre have been fitted with interactive touch screens, incorporating the Wimbledon Information System to deliver scores, video and statistics to journalists at their desks. The Press Centre has also been fitted with new chairs.
Commercial & Media
Announced last September, the AELTC and the BBC have agreed a three-year extension to the current UK broadcast contract for The Championships, giving the BBC the rights up to 2020 (inclusive). Other recent new agreements include BeIN Sport to broadcast The Championships in the Middle East, LeTV as the digital broadcaster and regional distributor in China, and Discovery / Eurosport in Russia.
Häagen-Dazs rejoins the AELTC’s Official Suppliers as the Official Ice Cream of The Championships. Ralph Lauren, Official Outfitter to The Championships, will be unveiling a new uniform for Officials and Ball Boys and Girls on 5 May.
The AELTC is proud to release its first owned collection of apparel and accessories collection. Designed, sourced and merchandised in-house, the collection is available now in the Wimbledon Shops.
Wimbledon continues to expand its award-winning digital footprint with the introduction of a new app for Apple TV, taking Wimbledon platforms into the home, and a completely new app for mobile and tablet on iOS and Android. The new app offers a bespoke experience for the visitor onsite, while also continuing to provide an unparalleled experience for those around the world. Further details will be released in June.
Wimbledon and the Community
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
A new exhibition, ‘Reinventing the Racket’, explores developments in tennis racket design from the 1870s onwards, including the Museum Collection’s largest racket (2.7m long) and smallest (about 10cm long) and a wide variety of tennis racket themed objects. The Museum is also proud to host the latest in the AELTC’s exploration of Virtual Reality with a new experience that allows the visitor to immerse themselves in Wimbledon’s unique traditions.
The Museum has acquired Michael Cole’s tennis photographic collection, featuring over half a million colour and black and white images from the Grand Slams from 1945-2015, and adding to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum’s reputation as the world’s leading tennis historical archive.
Wimbledon Foundation, the WJTI and Road to Wimbledon
The Wimbledon Foundation, which committed £625,000 to local community projects in 2015, was proud to launch the ‘Get Set Get Active Fund’ in March 2016, the third of its grant-making funds for the local community. More information, including the Foundation’s 2015 annual review, is available at wimbledon.com/foundation.
The Foundation, the AELTC and The Championships are also pleased to be opening six new courts (3 indoor, 3 outdoor) at Raynes Park for use by the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative and Ball Boy and Ball Girl training.
The Road to Wimbledon, the AELTC’s junior tournament for 14&U, will be visiting China for the first time, joining the events run in India for the past three years. Both Indian and Chinese players will have the opportunity to qualify to join the UK finalists at the National Finals at the AELTC in August.
William Pye, the internationally renowned sculptor, has been commissioned to create a contemporary work of art to represent The Championships. The bronze water sculpture, entitled ‘Alchemilla’, will be unveiled by HRH The Duke of Kent, the Club’s President, on the opening day of The Championships.
No.1 Court and Wimbledon Master Plan
Detailed design work for No.1 Court has been completed and various preparatory works have been undertaken to facilitate the construction that will start in earnest in July 2016 with the removal of the existing fixed roof. There will be no roof in 2017. The project, scheduled for completion in 2019, includes a new retractable roof, an extra 900 seats, a new public plaza in the place of Court 19 and new hospitality facilities. Sir Robert McAlpine has been appointed as the main contractor.
No.1 Court Debenture Issue, 2017-2021
The prospectus for the No.1 Court Debenture issue 2017-2021 was published on 22 April. Up to 1,000 debentures are being offered at a price of £31,000 (inc VAT) per debenture. Applications close on 27 May 2016 and the issue is expected to raise £25m net of expenses, all of which will be invested in the improvements to the Grounds and facilities under the Wimbledon Master Plan.
Enhanced grass court season
The AELTC was delighted with the first year of an enhanced grass court season in 2015, which provided players with more opportunities to practise and compete on grass ahead of The Championships. The grass court season will be further augmented in 2016 with the introduction of a WTA tournament in Mallorca, and in 2017 with the re-introduction of a combined event at Eastbourne, a new combined event in Nottingham and more than double the amount of prize money, funded by the AELTC, for ATP Challenger and ITF Women’s Pro Circuit grass court events.