Tennis fans have been left frustrated by enormous queues to purchase tickets for this year’s Wimbledon after over 170,000 were put on sale at the same time.
There was chaos just after 1pm on Thursday when hundreds of thousands of people logged on to try and secure tickets in the opening online allocation.
It led to virtual queues that meant most people had absolutely no chance of securing any tickets.
Sportsmail reporter Nick Harris said there were 120,000 people ahead of him in the queue to buy tickets and another wanting to buy tickets said 88,000 were in front.
And others complained they hadn’t been emailed their access code after pre-registering for the sale on the ‘myWimbledon’ website. Others didn’t get theirs until well after the 1pm opening of the sale.
Everyone hoping to secure tickets for the reduced capacity Grand Slam, which runs from June 28 until July 11, had to pre-register before midnight last night.
Tennis fans were left fuming after technical issues on the Wimbledon ticketing website saw them miss out as 170,000 tickets for the Championships were put on sale
Sportsmail’s Nick Harris shared a screenshot of the enormous online queues to buy tickets for this year’s Wimbledon, with over 120,000 waiting ahead of him
Many took to Twitter to complain about having little to no chance of securing tickets in the sale
However, that apparently offered no guarantee that the access code would arrive in time for the sale.
One Twitter user fumed: ‘Wimbledon ticket situation is a complete shambles. Asking for code but no one appears to have been sent one last night. Embarrassing.’
Another posted: ‘I literally clicked on Ticket Sale button the SECOND it became active… and yet there’s 10,000 people ahead of me in the virtual queue…. Aaaand this is why it’s impossible to have an inline sale for Wimbledon tickets…’
One wrote: ‘Not been sent @Wimbledon access code for tickets despite registering as a MyWimbledon member ages ago. In the queue but can’t buy tickets.’
Others demands an explanation from Ticketmaster and Wimbledon organisers as to why their code hadn’t arrived in time.
Another complaint was that the access code required to buy tickets hadn’t arrived by email
The tournament will initially be played in front of 50 per cent of capacity crowds and this will rise as the fortnight progresses.
The men’s and women’s singles finals on the 15,000-capacity Centre Court will be played before full capacity crowds with the events treated as a pilot event.
This makes them exempt from the strict capacity limits that have been placed on sporting events by the Government to make them Covid-19 safe and will occur despite ‘Freedom Day’ being pushed back to July 19.
Centre Court will house a full crowd on July 10 and 11 despite Freedom Day being pushed back
The last two sessions of the World Snooker Championship final at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre on May 3 were played in front of capacity crowds.
Everyone attending Wimbledon will need to provide certification of a recent negative Covid test to gain entry or proof of being double vaccinated.
Once inside, however, they will be free to roam the grounds as is usually the case. The Wimbledon Queue, another way to gain access to the grounds, will be absent this year.
Fans will need to provide proof of double vaccination or a recent negative Covid test, but will then be able to move freely around the grounds
Wimbledon organisers had to defend themselves against allegations of elitism after the Government designated it as a pilot event.
The likes of Gary Neville and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham claimed that the Championships are receiving undue preference.
Neville had led the charge when tweeting: ‘Can’t dance at a wedding but can stuff strawberries and champagne down your neck at the All England Club.’
There have been suggestions from the likes of Gary Neville (above) and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham that Wimbledon is receiving undue preference as a Government pilot event
Neville had led the charge when tweeting: ‘Can’t dance at a wedding but can stuff strawberries and champagne down your neck at the All England Club’
However, Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton defended the tournament and its enhanced ticket arrangements that will see around 22,000 spectators per day and a full Centre Court for the finals, saying: ‘I don’t think that has got anything to do with class. That has just got to do with testing at events.
‘It is likely a number of other events will be announced in the coming days that will also be part of that third stage event research programme.
‘Our view is very clearly that Wimbledon is for everyone. So I don’t recognise us as an elitist organisation. It’s not for us to comment on what it’s possible to do in other settings or on the Government’s decision.’
The courts at SW19 are being prepared ready for the tournament to begin on June 28
Bolton had expressed confidence that the ticketing website would hold up to demand.
She said: ‘We’re very confident that the infrastructure will hold up, we are putting in place the measures to manage the level of demand over a period of time.
‘We are phasing the volume of tickets on sale to manage demand and provide people with as many opportunities as possible to buy, so if they don’t get tickets in the first round, there is further opportunity.’