Tennis: pounds 23,000 for a Centre Court seat

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The Independent Online
SPECTATORS WANTING guaranteed seats at Wimbledon into the next millennium were asked to pay pounds 23,150 for a five-year debenture yesterday.

The All England Lawn Tennis Ground Plc announced it was issuing 2,300 debentures for the years 2001 to 2005 - 200 more than in the last issue in 1994. The debentures are usually sold in pairs, costing more than the price of a house in some parts of the country. But they might be considered better value when compared to a cost of over pounds 2,000 for a ticket on finals day.

The last series of debentures, for 1996 to 2000, were priced at pounds 19,625. Highly sought-after, they have recently changed hands at around pounds 17,000 each even though they cover only two championships. The income from debentures finances the development of facilities at Wimbledon and around the country via the Lawn Tennis Association.

Karol Kucera, the top seed, was forced to pull out of the BMW Open in Munich yesterday hours before his opening match because of tendinitis in his right wrist.