Wimbledon to pay at least £250,000 in refunds after near-non-stop rain

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Wimbledon is to hand out at least £250,000-worth of refunds after the tournament was hit by near-non-stop rain on Tuesday.

There was no play on the outside courts for most of Tuesday and 75 of the 91 scheduled matches were cancelled, while 12 were carried over to Wednesday.

Only Centre Court and No 1 court have roofs. Heavy rain over the first nine days of the championships has caused a major backlog of matches and forced organisers to make scheduling changes.

On Wednesday, the Met Office confirmed that more than a month’s rain – 52.6mm – had fallen in the first nine days of the championships, including 5.6mm recorded at nearby Kew Gardens on Tuesday.

The wet weather has also been blamed for the drop in visitor numbers, with 34,922 people passing through the gates of SW19 on Tuesday, which was the lowest day nine attendance since 2018.

Wimbledon announced on Tuesday that the mixed doubles final would have to take place after the men’s singles final on Centre Court on Sunday, rather than on Thursday.

The club also said that play on the outside courts would have to start at 10.30am on Wednesday instead of 11am because the event was so far behind schedule.

Wimbledon said on Wednesday that it would refund ticket-holders who bought a Court 2 ticket or a grounds pass before 5pm on Tuesday.

“Ticket-holders … are eligible for a full refund due to the rain delays and the resulting cancellation of matches,” it said on its website. “We thank all ticket-holders affected for their patience and understanding.”

Wimbledon is expected to issue more than 7,000 refunds, which is likely to cost the club in excess of £250,000. Court 2’s capacity is 4,063, with tickets costing £50 each. The refund is expected to include more than 3,000 grounds passes priced at £25 each.

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The Met Office has said the weather is due to improve for the rest of the week. “Today [Wednesday] is expected to remain dry with just a small risk of a shower until mid-afternoon,” said Abby Smith, an onsite forecaster at Wimbledon.

“Tomorrow [Thursday] is likely to be dry with some sunny spells. Feeling warm with temperatures reaching highs of 23C with a light westerly breeze. For the rest of the championships, a mix of showers and sunny spells with the chance of more persistent rain at times.”

Source: theguardian.com

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