Visitors to Wimbledon this year will see the progress being made on the new roof for Wimbledon No.1 Court. Year one of the No.1 Court Project, the current focus of the Wimbledon Master Plan, is complete and the project remains on track to be finished in time for The Championships 2019. For 2017, the No.1 Court will retain a partial fixed roof and have a spectator capacity of 11,500, which remains unchanged from last year.
More complex in both size and scale than the Centre Court project, but working to the same three-year building timeframe, the works will include a new retractable roof; wider and more comfortable spectator seating in addition to two more rows of approximately 900 seats; the creation of a new two-level public plaza in place of Court 19, which will open in 2018; and improved and expanded on-site concessions, catering areas and hospitality facilities.
The No.1 Court Project is being led by main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine. Below are a few interesting facts about the scope of the No.1 Court Project:
• 376,000 man hours have been worked on the project to date since the start of construction.
• In the first year, 3,500 tonnes of steel has been used (the equivalent weight of 295 buses or six Airbus airplanes).
• The concrete piles (cylindrical concrete foundations) have a combined length of just over a mile, and if lined up would reach Southfields station.
• 333 truckloads of earth have been removed from the site.
• 50.1 tonnes of waste have been generated, and of that, 98.2% has been diverted from landfill for reuse.
• Once complete, the fixed roof will contain a similar amount of mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment as would be found in a London high-rise building.
• The retractable roof section of the project is akin to constructing four bridges, and then adding a further 11 bridges on top, which move along their own railway.
The retractable roof will, just like Centre Court, allow for uninterrupted play irrespective of the weather thereby guaranteeing tennis for around 27,000 spectators on the two main Show Courts.
The remodelling of No.1 Court will also provide the opportunity to achieve further improvements to the visitor experience through:
– new wider, more comfortable seating throughout the Court
– two additional tiers of approximately 900 seats
– the creation of a new two-level public plaza in place of Court 19
– improved on-site concessions and catering areas around the Court
– hospitality facilities to replace some of the temporary facilities currently in use at the south of the Grounds
Following the completion of the No.1 Court Project in 2019, improvements to the site on Somerset Road will become the next part of the Wimbledon Master Plan to be addressed. Planning approval was granted by Merton Council in February 2017. Specifically, this project will deliver:
• Relocation of six clay courts on the main site to unlock the southern Grounds for future development.
• Six new indoor courts & improved indoor facilities for competitors’ use.
• Construction of an underground car park, which will be the hub of The Championships’ courtesy car operation, and the relocated competitor drop-off and accreditation area.
• The underground car park will also provide an enhanced year-round parking solution to mitigate congestion on Somerset Road.