Wimbledon hopes for £100m debenture windfall


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The Independent Online

Wimbledon is hoping to raise £100m with its next issue of debentures. The All England Club will announce today the price of its latest five-year debentures, which will entitle holders to a Centre Court ticket every day of the Championships between 2016 and 2020.

The most recent Centre Court debentures, covering the 2011-2015 period, cost £27,750. They proved to be an excellent investment and today’s price is expected to be significantly higher. The final deadline for applications will be 6 June. Wimbledon will use the revenue to help fund its next phase of redevelopments, including the construction of a retractable roof over No 1 Court.

Buying a debenture means that you pay many times the face value of tickets – for example, the total cost of one Centre Court ticket for each day of this year’s Championships would be £1,186 – but it is the only way of guaranteeing a seat. They have also proved attractive to investors, particularly at a time of low interest rates.

The All England Club runs an “official market” for debenture tickets where it effectively buys back the seats and then sells them on again, often to other debenture holders.

At the end of last year Wimbledon paid £9,900 for a whole book of 13 tickets for every day of this year’s Championships, while a leading hospitality company offered to pay £12,000 for them. Wimbledon’s buy-back prices for individual 2014 debenture tickets include £1,200 for a single ticket for the  second Wednesday (in theory men’s quarter-finals day) and £2,400 for the last Sunday (men’s final day).

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