Centre Court revamp rockets to £100m
The redevelopment of Wimbledon Centre Court, which includes a retractable roof, is understood to have cost £100m.
There has been speculation that the translucent roof cost between £1m and £20m, but a source close to the project said that the overall development was "about a factor of 99" greater than the former figure.
The budget is so high because the development does not just include the roof, but also structural supports and new facilities, such as hospitality suites.
The source said: "About £100m is the right ballpark [figure]. Some people have guessed figures on the scheme thinking that the roof is just a finite extra, but you have to include all the facilities and constructions supporting that development."
The revamped centre court will host its first matches at an exhibition tournament later this month. Former world No 4 Tim Henman joins husband-and-wife stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf in matches to be played on 17 May. Kim Clijsters, the grand slam-winning former world No 1 and former girlfriend of Australian Lleyton Hewitt, is also due to take part.
The players should not have to be wary of hitting high lobs – the roof is 16 metres above the court. However, Henman, Agassi and Graf can expect a bigger audience than when they last played at the All England Club, as the redevelopments include 1,200 extra seats taking the capacity to 15,000.
The roof has been designed by Populous, the Kansas City and London-based architects formerly known as HOK Sport. The company is currently working on a masterplan to revamp the Australian Open tournament in Melbourne, and are perhaps best known for their collaboration with architectural giant Lord Foster on Wembley Stadium.
Melbourne are trying to hold on to their status as one of the four grand slam tournaments, the others being the French and US Opens. Their contract as a major tournament runs until 2016, and the Populous masterplan is part of a near-£1bn business case commissioned by the Victorian government to keep hold of the event.
Reports from Australia suggest that Sydney is keen to host the Open, although the tennis boom in the Middle East means that both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are pushing for grand slam status. The masterplan is expected to improve infrastructure at the Melbourne tournament, and include a faster retractable roof for the rebuilt Rod Laver Arena.
A spokesman for the All England Club declined to comment.
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Manchester City coach in waiting Manuel Pellegrini: Inside the mind of anti-Mancini
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Borussia Dortmund face Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you should know about the Champions League final
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.