Wimbledon hike debenture tickets to £46,000 - and cite the Emma Raducanu effect

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Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon - GETTY IMAGES
Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon - GETTY IMAGES

Wimbledon is hoping the Emma Raducanu effect will help fans swallow a £15,000 mark-up in debenture prices from next year.

The All England Club cited excitement around the 18-year-old sensation on a notice which confirms a £46,000 price tag for a premium seat for the next five years on No 1 Court.

An increase from £31,000 will raise a total of £57.5 million towards an ambitious expansion of the tournament footprint in SW19.

However, despite the eyebrow-raising price hike, the 1,250 debentures which cover the opening 11 days each year are expected to sell in record time.

Investors can claw back significant sums as they are allowed to resell their premium seats on any given day via official channels.

From next year, there is also an extra day guaranteed - Middle Sunday - and the recently-installed roof on Court 1 provides further assurances that play will go ahead.

Clearly, however, organisers are looking to capitalise on interest in Raducanu, whose US Open title came just three months after she announced herself on the world stage at Wimbledon.

The Briton is already becoming one of the most in-demand figures in global sport and this week became an ambassador for Tiffany&Co.

Emma Raducanu with Tiffany boss Alexandre Arnault (right) - GETTY IMAGES
Emma Raducanu with Tiffany boss Alexandre Arnault (right) - GETTY IMAGES

In the announcement of its new debenture arrangements, Wimbledon said: "No 1 Court has been the stage for some of the sport’s most exciting rising stars and compelling stories in recent years. At this year’s Championships it hosted Emma Raducanu on her way to the fourth round, and in 2019, the breakthrough performance of Coco Gauff, when she defeated Venus Williams en route to her fourth-round appearance," the notice inviting applications added.

For £46,000, the debenture-holder gets a reserved seat in a prime location on the second main show court for the first 11 days of the championships from 2022 to 2026.

Watch: Emma Raducanu spent first night back in UK watching US Open final replay

There is also access to “exclusive restaurants and bars”, but the main selling point is that "debenture tickets are the only Wimbledon tickets which are freely transferable".

Raducanu played twice on No 1 Court during her run to the fourth round at Wimbledon this year. However, her increased standing in the game as a major winner will likely see her play the majority of her matches on Centre Court from next year.

Centre Court debentures, which cost £80,000 for the entire fortnight, are also likely to increase in price at the next renewal. This year, £450 tickets for the men’s singles final were being offered at £5,000 online.

Wimbledon always dedicates the vast majority of profits towards ground improvements, and this year costs are surging after a planning application was filed to convert a neighbouring 67 acre golf course into, primarily, a new 8,000-seat arena and 38 additional grass courts. With a spend likely to run into the hundreds of millions, the project marks the greatest transformation in the world-famous tournament since the construction of Centre Court 100 years ago.

Wimbledon plans to build a new 8,000-seat arena and 38 additional grass courts
Wimbledon plans to build a new 8,000-seat arena and 38 additional grass courts

Chief executive Sally Bolton, tasked with leading the major overhaul barely 12 months after her appointment, told Telegraph Sport this summer that Britons can look forward to boasting the "world's most beautiful sporting destination" by 2028.

Raducanu, meanwhile, will meet her new army of fans live on the BBC on Friday as part of her official homecoming party celebrating her US Open fairytale.

As part of an event led by the Lawn Tennis Association, she will also spend the morning on court with the next generation of young players.

The event will also celebrate Joe Salisbury's title in the doubles, as well as Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid whose victory in the wheelchair doubles completed a calendar Grand Slam after wins in Melbourne, Paris and Wimbledon - although the focus of the event will be around Britain's first women's singles champion in 41 years.

Raducanu was this week added to the entry list for the Kremlin Cup, a WTA 500 event in Moscow next month, as her plans for a return to tennis started to take shape. She also remains registered to compete at Indian Wells from Oct 6.

Watch: Kate holds court with tennis ace Emma Raducanu at LTA event

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