5 surprising findings from a trip to Wimbledon Centre Court
Having been among the lucky 10,000 spectators to have got through online to grab a ticket for Wimbledon Centre Court on the Middle Sunday of Wimbledon 2016, I wanted to share some aspects of the day that both surprised and impressed as well as some points to note for any visit.
Wimbledon Centre Court is where the champagne corks never stop popping
This goes straight in at number one on the list. The noise of popping corks started quite slowly, I even kept count to about five. But then it spiralled. And the timings seemed to raise laughter.
After a point was won to go 15-0 up, the sound of a cork went off. After Hawk-Eye had delivered its verdict on a close line-call, another champagne cork was popped. Yes! The ball was IN, let’s celebrate!
A budding, technically minded music-maker could probably offer Wimbledon organisers a tuneful backdrop involving corks going off and crowd laughter. I only wish I’d found out how much each bottle was costing the popper.
Dressing to impress
A day out at Wimbledon Centre Court is one of those occasions you may only ever do once.
There are elegantly dressed ladies giving their summer dresses an outing on a rare sunny day. Dapper-suited men sport Panama hats (?80 a pop in the shop mind you). It is how I imagine a day at Royal Ascot would be, minus the horses.
Also, depending on where you stand on this – it is selfie-heaven or selfie-hell.
Selfie sticks are on the Wimbledon Centre Court banned list, and across the whole site. But it doesn’t prevent you grabbing the obligatory mobile phone shot of you with a lush Centre Court backdrop. Plus there are plenty of like-minded people on hand to take a picture for you.
They love a flower arrangement outside Wimbledon Centre Court. Hanging baskets are everywhere. I’d wager that pretty much 80% of photos taken feature a hanging basket in them somewhere, regardless of whether you planned it that way or not.
Allow time to explore
There is so much to see around the grounds of Wimbledon.
If you’ve got time before the action begins, you can complete a swift tour and go into more detail, such as looking in the shop or museum, a little later on when you won’t miss the tennis.
If however tennis is the sideshow, then it’s easy to sit and quaff strawberries and cream and people-watch to your heart’s content.
Wimbledon Centre Court = great views
As you’d expect with most top stadiums or arenas worth their name, the views for spectators on Wimbledon Centre Court are excellent.
As Middle Sunday has unreserved seating it means you can pop out for a Pimms top-up and return to a completely different seat and viewpoint. I heard one excited spectator proclaim he had managed to watch the action unfold from at least three different angles over the course of the day’s play.