Ahead of the Wimbledon Grand Slam at the end of June, the tournament organisers have revealed a decrease in prize money. The total prize money for Wimbledon 2021 will be a little over £35 million pounds ($49.4 million), 5 % lower than the previous tournament in 2019. Wimbledon was the only major grand slam to be cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wimbledon will return this year in its usual slot, with the main draw starting on June 28. The singles champions will bear the maximum hit to their earnings and will pocket £1.7 million, down from the £2.35 million in 2019. All England Club confirmed the details of prize money in a statement this week.
“As in previous years, and particularly in this challenging year for tour players, the focus of distribution has been on supporting players in the early rounds of the tournament. Only four players (finalists and semi-finalists) in each singles draw will receive prize money at a lower level than was awarded in 2019.”
Players participating in the qualifiers will see a 17.5% increase in overall prize money allocation. Meanwhile, the wheelchair and quad wheelchair events will also get a 17% boost. Earlier this month, French Open had also confirmed philanthropic prize money. The reduced prize money is largely due to the impact of the pandemic.
Wimbledon will also be the first outdoor sporting event in the UK that will be played with capacity crowds of 15,000 on Centre Court since the pandemic. The organizers have confirmed that the above will only happen for the Men’s and Women’s finals. Spectators have to register by Wednesday midnight to access the ticketing platform for the initial sale of tickets from 1 p.m. local time on Thursday.
In previous years, tickets were allocated through a public ballot held months in advance of the Wimbledon Grand Slam. The All England club added that 2021 ticket holders must wear face coverings at the venue grounds. However, they will not be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing when seated at the venue. They will also need to present proof of COVID-19 status, either in the form of both doses of vaccinations or a negative lateral flow test within 48 hours of attending.
This can be considered as a bold move and will serve as a benchmark for future sports events not only for the UK but also the rest of the world as cases plummet and sports makes its return towards its normalcy.