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selesfan87
May 17th, 2004, 04:18 PM
I was just wondering, if anyone here has queued for Wimbledon show court tickets on the day, the seats they keep back for on-the-day sale, are they at the back of the court? Does anyone know if they keep the 'same' seats back everyday, and where exactly they are.

Also, what time do people start camping outside?

TheBoiledEgg
May 17th, 2004, 04:26 PM
the seats that the queuers get...... YOU get to choose from the ones available.
they keep alot near the front, some where players come out.


obviosuly the "old posh farts" aren't gonna sit under no covered stands :tape:


you tell them when you get to the turnstile and where you'd like to be, if some left you get one.

dunno when they start camping as i never leave before 9-30ish or so.

Snuffkin
May 17th, 2004, 04:27 PM
Some people just come straight out of the grounds and into the queue. That's the way I've done it. I know some arrive during the night, but I'm not sure on that one.

The seats are usually pretty close to the front. I've always had my choice of front row on them. Maybe they do that to improve the atmosphere, being that the stuffed shirts make no noise.

Just remember, if you do queue, bring a toilet roll.

TheBoiledEgg
May 17th, 2004, 04:31 PM
there are some i'm sure that queue alot earlier, just cos Henman :rolleyes: is gonna be on :o

toilet roll ??? :confused: never brought one

selesfan87
May 17th, 2004, 04:31 PM
Yea, I was planning on getting into the queue straight after coming out of the grounds!

How many people are in the queue, about at about 9-10PM or so?

TheBoiledEgg
May 17th, 2004, 04:36 PM
about 9-10pm.... around 200 on the Church Road side.
some days more.

if you get into the car park . its 300ish.

not everyone stays for alot of days, some only come for one day so some of the new people in the queue come early.

Bezz
May 17th, 2004, 04:41 PM
For the ppl that do queue is there anywehre yu can freshen up between days so yu dont go into wimbledon smelling damp :o .

SJW
May 17th, 2004, 04:44 PM
^ i was gonna ask the same thing!

Eggy you're a seasoned pro at this...first time camping (with bezz and others :p) and where do you go to stop yourself stinking? :confused:

selesfan87
May 17th, 2004, 04:45 PM
Do you HAVE to have a tent?

Bezz
May 17th, 2004, 04:47 PM
Do you HAVE to have a tent?
I think only if your are gonna stay overnight, unless there are some cheap hotels in the area :confused: ;)

selesfan87
May 17th, 2004, 04:48 PM
what I mean is, do the people that run the queue complain if you are queuing overnight and don't have a tent. You know what they are like. ;) Do people use tents? Or just sleeping bags? Sorry, I'm new to this. ;)

TheBoiledEgg
May 17th, 2004, 04:49 PM
^ i was gonna ask the same thing!

Eggy you're a seasoned pro at this...first time camping (with bezz and others :p) and where do you go to stop yourself stinking? :confused:
You dont :p
deodorant and perfume/aftershave does the trick :lol:

if you're staying for more than 2-3 days...... :tape:
dont worry......... others are in the same pos as you.

and dont care what the posh snobs say if they do say anything, ( no one's said anything to me :o )

just tell them to stick it...... " i camped :p "

TheBoiledEgg
May 17th, 2004, 04:52 PM
you dont need a tent....... not everyone brings one.
some just a sleeping bag which is useful as long as it dont rain :lol:

yes my early days...... i got caught out :o
a radio is always helpful as u'll need to know if its gonna rain or not.

and Radio is always good when you're there....... either Radio Wimbledon which is pretty good, but me listens to Radio 5 live.

Bezz
May 17th, 2004, 04:53 PM
You dont :p
deodorant and perfume/aftershave does the trick :lol:

if you're staying for more than 2-3 days...... :tape:
dont worry......... others are in the same pos as you.

and dont care what the posh snobs say if they do say anything, ( no one's said anything to me :o )

just tell them to stick it...... " i camped :p "
I was afraid yu were gonna say that :tape: - 5 cans of super "stop a gorilla from sweating" anti-perspirant deodrant it is then :cool:

TheBoiledEgg
May 17th, 2004, 04:53 PM
READ THIS

http://tennis-ontheline.com/01queue.htm


The Queuer's Guide to Wimbledon

by Dulcie Jackson
June 2001




Wimbledon is here again! I can't believe that it's come round so soon.

I always get really excited about Wimby in about March, when I realise it won't be that long, then it suddenly creeps up. Not that I'm some patriotic gin-soaked Wimby freak. Well, Wimby freak okay, I admit, but I don't subscribe to all the stuff that gets thrown around by the press every year, about it being "the best tournament in the world" etc. etc. No, I like it because it's here and I can go to it...and the most important reason of all...because you can queue for it! Yes, this is a vitally important fact.

The problems with Wimbledon are known all too well. It's on grass, the tennis is boring, serves are supreme, it rains too much and (for overseas fans) the matches take place in the early hours of the morning. Not to mention the way the British press get some kind of strawberry fever which renders them incapable of seeing British interests in an objective (and therefore pessimistic) light. And the "best tournament in the world" attitude seems to be particularly prevalent in the Wimbledon management committee, which seems to think that since they are Wimbledon everyone else has to change their seeding policy to suit them.

I can really see why some don't like Wimbledon. The only reason why I don't dislike it is because actually going there gives you a whole new perspective which the press, and the Wimbledon committee, don't show to overseas fans at all. And that's what I'm writing about.

Making preparations

Wimby gives out a large part of its tickets by public ballot, for which you have to send them an SAE (stamped addressed envelope) the previous December -- I have never yet been lucky there -- but the rest of the Centre Court, No. 1 and No. 2 tickets are saved to be sold on the day to people queueing at the gate. The thing is that there aren't that many (about 600-1200 for Centre/No.1 each per day, I think), so if you want one, you have to queue overnight for one.

Queuing really isn't so bad, because everybody brings tents, sleeping bags, cards, thermos flasks, mini-TVs, radios, food, and assorted camping paraphernalia, and sets up a little camp on the pavement. The first year I camped was an impulse decision made with my friend Jessica, who wanted to see Henman on Centre while I wanted to see Pioline-Kafelnikov on No.1. We caught the train up to London, then a taxi to Wimbledon, and we arrived at about 1am. Jessica had been moaning at me in the taxi, "This is crazy. We didn't need to do this. No one is going to arrive at Wimbledon at 1am the night before. We're going to be the first ones." I conceded that we might be amongst the first 5 or so.

So you imagine our faces when we got out and saw tents and tents stretching out into the distance, just outlined in the moonlight. It took us 15 minutes to walk to the end of the queue. There must have been 400 tents or so that we walked past, plus people in sleeping bags stretched out in the open air, either sleeping or blinking dazedly at us. We rounded a corner, greeted by a posse of security guards chatting, and finally found the end of the queue. Luckily for us this part of the queue ran through a field, so the traffic noise was distant.

A long night's camping

So, time to set up the tent. Unfortunately I had never put up a tent before, and Jessica cannot see in the dark. So she held the torch while I wrestled with the tent, trying to slot a second pole into a third while the first slid out, and lifting folds of canvas, trying to sort out assorted holes, rings and layers. After 15 minutes or so it was looking more tent-like than canvas pancake-like, and after 20 minutes we had managed to get the inner mosquito net successfully attached.

We sat down. We were surely crazy. But when we looked up all we could see was the shallow canopy of trees silhouetting the navy blue starry sky, and just the next morning a tantalising lineup of tennis would be waiting for us.

The best thing of all is that as an overnight queuer you can not only choose which court you want according to who you want to see, but you can also pick your seats. A ballot ticket holder is just given a day and seat numbers months in advance, way before you know who is playing and where. Jessica was worried because since we had come so (relatively) late, with 450-odd people ahead, we were borderline for Centre Court. (There are two separate queues, North and South). I could be sure though that I would see Pioline on No. 1.

We talked to a group of lads from Newcastle, who invited us over to their camp to play cards. After 45 mins of Black Queen, it was somehow irrationally decided that a 2am trip to go and look at the part of Centre Court visible from outside was absolutely necessary. I trudged with the others, by now very tired. Jessica was bounding around like a mad thing, getting very excited. Okay, we've seen it, now I'm really going to bed.

Rise and shine!

I woke up at 6am. Vague morning-type sounds of newspaper sellers and other queuers wandering around. I unzip the tent blearily, and floods of golden dawn sunshine make me screw up my eyes. The field looked like a school playing field, with an impromptu game of football going on, and a hotdog seller handing out steaming sausages in buns. Ugh. It's far too early. I lie down again.

Suddenly, something bashes the tent and a strong firm voice rings out: "Up and moving in ten minutes, everyone!" I snap out of dozing. There's a blazered steward with a stick or something moving along the line, waking everyone up. It's 6:50, and we have ten minutes to pack this tent, which neither of us have done in our life! Clothes and sleeping bags are flung out, and poles and toggles are unhooked. Ten minutes later we are wide awake and our hearts pumping, but our tent is somehow squashed into its bag, two feet by five inches.

Everyone shuffles along a bit. Jessica and I take turns to go to the toilet and wash. This is the difficult part of the morning, when you really want to go back to bed, but you keep on moving along at 5 minute intervals as all the space between the tents is compressed. The time passes with people going by giving out freebies or selling newspapers, and the occasional news crew or BBC camera doing filming for whatever promotional clip. Every national daily has at least one seller going round, so you can have your pick. Most people buy one and peruse the order of play.

I look back along the line and note smugly how there are hundreds of people behind us just in our vicinity. The end of the queue is out of sight, but I knew from previous experience of same-day queueing that 10am is about as late as you can safely leave it if you want a ground pass. The queue stretches for aaaaaages. It's insane.

Approaching the promised land

The next exciting part of queueing is when you finally go up the wooden bridge crossing the road next to the grounds, and the iron wrought walls of Wimbledon with the entirely green Centre Court looming above come into view. You can sense the excitement levels increase from the general chatter around you. People start getting more lively.

Then they start handing out the tickets. What they do is a couple of stewards come over to the start of the queue armed with a variety of brightly coloured wristbands and a dangerous-looking clicky thing. Each court has a different colour. They move their way down the queue person by person, asking which court they would like, then clicking the wristband into place. Court 1 is silver today, while Centre is fluorescent green. I admire my shiny silver wristband. Jessica just misses out on Centre, by about 3 people, so joins the silver banded people. The green-banded people ahead look happy and smug, or at least they do to Jessica, who decides to sulk for the rest of the day.

Then all you do is sit and wait till 10:30am, when they open the gates. Official Wimbledon people come round with rolls of large "I Queued at Wimbledon 1999" stickers and little freebie programmes to give out. The Mr Kipling man arrives, dressed in a Mr Kipling cake costume and gives out sixpacks of strawberry cakes to everyone who looks hopeful as he goes past. The Mr Kipling freebies are a feature of every Wimbledon queue. Six cakes per person is too much for anyone, even me, so you find lots of abandoned ones everywhere, but despite the rubbish it's a nice thing to have when you've not yet had any breakfast.

The freebies are great. We also get Robinsons drinks, orange juice, rain macs, varieties of baseball cap, newspapers, and even bananas. That was last year when I camped with another friend, and suddenly we all heard the sound of steel drums. Then a truck came into view, carrying a steel band on the back plus people holding bunches of bananas, throwing them at random people in the queue. Some people shouted out "over here!" and were rewarded with more bananas. It was surreal. Then the Banana Wagon disappeared out of sight, and I never did get a banana myself.

Finally they let you in at 10:30 or so. You go to tables to have your bags searched, then you're let to your ticket gate to pay and to choose your seats.

All the way the stewards are there to help people, to tell them where to go. These stewards manage the flow of people into the ticket area, but others wander up and down the queue, giving directions to late arrivals, and stopping to answer questions or just have a chat about the weather. They are typically dressed in Wimbledon navy blazer with green pinstripes, a rimmed peaked cream hat, shirt and tie with obligatory Wimbldon badge. 99% of them are old wrinkly gentlemen who look like they have had a long soak in the gin, but they are very polite and helpful, and they all look like they are enjoying themselves. The ticket guy shows me his plan of the courts, and I plump for the first row, right behind the players.

We made it!

We're in!! Finally we can get rid of our bags, which are quite numerous. We go to the toilets under Centre to change into clean clothes, and queue up at Left Luggage to have our tent stuff filed away on shelves. It's free, I think, and you can get rid of all your clobber for the whole day.

This is where you look around and remember why you did this. Wimbledon is remarkably big, and busy, and above all it really is green everywhere. Except when it's purple. The canvas, the massive wall of ivy, the uniforms, the stalls, the ticket stands, the flower boxes, all green. You all know this. But it's more impressive when it surrounds you entirely. Even the flowers were purple. They have a massive order of play 12 foot tall in the central area (also green), with people milling around peering up at it and muttering to each other whether to see Goran Ivanisevic on Court 13 or the doubles with Federer on 18.

We wander round to Court 3. The atmosphere is something like a big tennis/strawberries and cream themed garden party. It's relaxed and open, but there is also the tinge of expectation about the dramas that will unfold on 19 courts at once in just an hour or so. This is especially so around the outside courts, which are as far from the Wimby unfriendly, elitist, Brit-centric stereotype as you can get. It feels more like a street market, with narrow pathways between small courts with only a little seating and wooden benches around the sides, packed with people clapping for Basuki vs. Po or Ulihrach vs. Voltchkov.

They have about 9 courts all next to each other, all separated by canvas. Next to Court 13 the canvas is so high beside the stands you just end up weaving past other fans in a mysterious maze of dark green canvas, and you suddenly emerge beside Court 6. I love this bit. I love wandering round all the courts, absorbing the atmosphere. Another great thing to do is get a takeaway stirfry from the lovely restaurant under Centre in its little carton and go and eat it with your freebie chopsticks on the big hill, watching whatever is happening on Centre on the big screen with the other picnickers.

That day with Jessica I did see Pioline-Kafelnikov. It was a lovely hot sunny day. Court 1 is okay, but the outside courts are the most fun. Court 2 is small and intimate, and my favourite of all because it creates an arena of drama but you are so close to the players.


Wimbledon is a lot of fun to go to, and it's actually pretty egalitarian with its ticketing policy and cheap prices (12 for a ground pass, cheaper than any of the British ATP events); it's contrary to the stereotype in lots of ways. The best bit is, I leave to do this all again tomorrow!!

SJW
May 17th, 2004, 04:53 PM
You dont :p
deodorant and perfume/aftershave does the trick :lol:

if you're staying for more than 2-3 days...... :tape:
dont worry......... others are in the same pos as you.

and dont care what the posh snobs say if they do say anything, ( no one's said anything to me :o )

just tell them to stick it...... " i camped :p "
oh fuck it, i'm a clean freak, i'll go home and then come back :lol:

TheBoiledEgg
May 17th, 2004, 04:59 PM
oh fuck it, i'm a clean freak, i'll go home and then come back :lol:then its best to collect your "ticket number" they hand those out when u join queue, and you can leave for a little while :p

but to get to Reading........ you're pushing it....

you really gonna pay 20 to have a shower ???
there could be NO underground trains when u try and get back :p

SJW
May 17th, 2004, 05:01 PM
then its best to collect your "ticket number" they hand those out when u join queue, and you can leave for a little while :p

but to get to Reading........ you're pushing it....

you really gonna pay 20 to have a shower ???
there could be NO underground trains when u try and get back :p
:lol: no probably not....i'll find a way i'm sure :)

TheBoiledEgg
May 17th, 2004, 05:09 PM
try one of the youth hostels

St Christophers...... might be a bit late now.

http://www.st-christophers.co.uk/

!<blocparty>!
May 17th, 2004, 05:16 PM
^ i was gonna ask the same thing!

Eggy you're a seasoned pro at this...first time camping (with bezz and others :p) and where do you go to stop yourself stinking? :confused:
well, u could always stick some mini sponges under ur pits;) , or wash in some puddles?? It will probably be raining.:lick:

Grachka
May 17th, 2004, 05:25 PM
I was going to go, but my friend is going to Norway instead so I don't have anyone to go with. Saori will have to wait until next year :sad: :(

maximus82
May 17th, 2004, 06:53 PM
Hehe...I camped out (sleeping bag only) during the beginning of the first week last year. Thankfully it didn't rain over-night (although I did wake up at 3am freezing! had to run around to warm up before I could go to sleep again). Not only did I have a fun time talking to the people in line around me, but I also got 2nd row tickets for centre court!

selesfan87
May 17th, 2004, 06:53 PM
Go on your own then.

GoDominique
May 17th, 2004, 07:15 PM
LOL, I don't get why everyone is so keen on camping. :confused: :lol:

So you get Centre Court or Court No.1 tickets, but they are expensive, you might get Henman :o or Rusedski :scared:, and you will be thinking "damn, so many great matches going on on the outside courts, but I bought these tickets so I must stay on Centre." :o

And once I was sitting at an outside court, and there was a woman next to me with a Centre Court wristband, and she slept through the whole match. :lol:

So :shrug: but have fun LOL.

TheBoiledEgg
May 17th, 2004, 07:32 PM
camping for Centre or #1 is madness though, except if u only coming for one day and wanna go there :o

only 3 matches and rip off prices.
although i go every yr i hardly go into centre/#1 now

only once in last 3 yrs.

GoDominique
May 17th, 2004, 07:38 PM
I was on CC with a return ticket. When Henman played there were like 500 people waiting for tickets (how silly is that ??? :retard: ), but I was the only one asking for a ticket to see Enqvist vs. Vinck. ;) Stupid Vinck lost his serve in the 5th so I only saw 2 games. :o It was worth it though. ;)

My Court No.1 ticket was pretty good - Olli Rochus beating Norman :) and Anne-Gaelle thrashing Anna. :D ;)

maximus82
May 17th, 2004, 07:50 PM
I was at wimby for two days...spent my first one on the outside courts and had an awesome time. And, despite the comments of some of the other posters here, I had a similarly awesome time on centre court the next day. Yes, the prices were more expensive...but that might have been my only chance to see Wimbledon's centre court in person. AND I got to see Serena, Agassi, and Ferrero up close and personal (another thing I'm not sure if I'll ever get to do again). Maybe if you are lucky enough to get to go to tennis events regularly, it's not such a big deal, but for people who are not as fortunate, I'd say that queueing and watching play on Centre Court is definitely worth it!

wongqks
May 17th, 2004, 08:05 PM
on which day will they stop queuing?

I mean is it possible to queue for quarterfinals tix?

croat123
May 17th, 2004, 08:22 PM
just curious, do you have to queue for a grounds pass?

GoDominique
May 17th, 2004, 08:26 PM
just curious, do you have to queue for a grounds pass?
Yes but you don't have to camp overnight. You will be fine if you arrive at around 8 am.

GoDominique
May 17th, 2004, 08:31 PM
on which day will they stop queuing?

I mean is it possible to queue for quarterfinals tix?
Yes, as far as I know you can queue for CC and No.1 tickets until 2nd Wednesday which is the men's QF day.

Dirty Sanchez
May 17th, 2004, 09:27 PM
Me and a mate are going down to Wimbledon for the first time this year and we're staying there for the first Saturday, Sunday and second Monday. If we queue at about 3 or 4 am do you reckon we could get tickets for the Centre Court or Court 1? (Bearing in mind neither of us want to see Henman at all!)

TheBoiledEgg
May 17th, 2004, 09:42 PM
Me and a mate are going down to Wimbledon for the first time this year and we're staying there for the first Saturday, Sunday and second Monday. If we queue at about 3 or 4 am do you reckon we could get tickets for the Centre Court or Court 1? (Bearing in mind neither of us want to see Henman at all!)
queuing up on Saturday night...... for what :tape:
they dont play on Sunday.

As for getting there for Sat at 3 or 4am and hoping for a showcourt ticket forget it.
even 2nd Monday is NO chance.
those two days busiest apart from 1st Monday.

7-8pm the day before might get u in.

controlfreak
May 17th, 2004, 09:43 PM
Hmmm, camping could be fun, but I don't imagine you'd really enjoy the exhausting day of tennis-watching after a terrible night's sleep.

I think I'll be getting there at around 7-8am for maybe the first Tuesday and Wednesday, and I'll be more than happy with a ground pass.

SJW
May 17th, 2004, 10:53 PM
Thanks Eggy for that article but I'm not sure if it made me want to queue or not. After all these years, I am finally going to England to catch Wimby and I thought queueing would be fun but I am not the camping type of gal:)

ermm..sarah, I don't know if i want to camp out now:o :eek: All of a sudden it's not looking so exciting...are grounds passes that bad:)
i'm not the camping type of girl either :eek::scared: but i wanna see the sisters and they'll be on the main courts....

cmon girl, don't be such a pussy :lol::)

Dava
May 17th, 2004, 11:56 PM
Oh Im going to have to get washed somehow, Ill have to a J.LO and bring my entorage (sJw and Bezz)

FantasyTennis1
May 18th, 2004, 12:17 AM
I've queued at Wimbledon for 11 years on middle saturday and it's the best day of the year!

Sooo much fun - even if it rains!!

__________________________________________________ ______________________
Play the French Open game on www.fantasytennis.net now!

wongqks
May 18th, 2004, 01:13 AM
Here's an idea for eveyone. Why don't you all join the LTA cause it's something like a 1 in 2 chance of getting tickets for Wimbledon! And it's not that expensive, and beats camping out in the rain any day! At least, that's what I did and I got tickets for the woman's quarters!
You so lucky, I only got court two on day 2, and I am leaving this year :(

still awesome though :D

paul_masterton
May 18th, 2004, 02:49 AM
do u ahve to join the same obscenely long queue jsut for outside court tickets? coz i'd be pissed off i was waiting until 2pm to get in, missed everyone and the matches i wanetd were on outside courts and all teh pple in front of me were waiting to get on showcourts.

Dirty Sanchez
May 18th, 2004, 10:07 PM
queuing up on Saturday night...... for what :tape:
they dont play on Sunday.

As for getting there for Sat at 3 or 4am and hoping for a showcourt ticket forget it.
even 2nd Monday is NO chance.
those two days busiest apart from 1st Monday.

7-8pm the day before might get u in.
Lol yeah, I did know that just kinda worded it wrong when posting! :o

I was worried that my mate wouldn't be up for staying out all night but after speaking to him today he doesn't seem to care so I guess we will be getting there early enough for showcourt tickets! :yeah: But only for the one day, we both want to check out the outer courts as well! :)

Sounds like this queuing could be a laugh! :yeah: :p

selesfan87
May 18th, 2004, 10:58 PM
Out of interest, can you camp out in a samll tent, there is space? The path looks narrow...

Snuffkin
May 18th, 2004, 11:05 PM
Paul, sadly, yes, there is only one queue.

Last year my tent took up the whole side of the pavement, so there's no worry about the size of tents. Within reason. The path is narrow but it tends to accommodate tents quite easily.

And queueing is a laugh. Until your wake up call at an obscenely early hour. And don't get me started on the newspaper sellers that come past your tent selling their wares and being the most annoying person you could wish to encounter no matter what freebies they are offering. But if the Daily Telegraph is offering, get one of their radios.

And don't forget, free breakfast, if the weather's dry! Although the year I had a life-size Mr Kipling cake walk toward me at 7am did make me wonder what I'd taken.

selesfan87
May 18th, 2004, 11:11 PM
So when queuing overnight, when do people start turning up, and where? At the turnstiles/Gate 3? Are there people queueing to see the last of the day's play?!!!

selesfan87
May 27th, 2004, 02:04 PM
When do people start queing for next dasy tickets? 5PM? 6PM? 7PM? 9PM? thx

TheBoiledEgg
May 27th, 2004, 02:58 PM
Q-ing starts by the Turnstiles..... Gate 3
not sure of times but some "Henman wierdos" stay in the Q for 24 hours
by-passing the days play to stay in the Q all day, all night for next day :rolleyes: