SBD/July 10, 2012/Events and Attractions

All England Tennis Club's Lewis Talks Wimbledon 2020 Plan, Potential For New Roof

Inclement weather brought complaints about the use of the roof at Wimbledon
All England Lawn Tennis Club CEO Richard Lewis has “inherited the Wimbledon 2020 plan to decide where it should go over the next two decades,” according to Owen Gibson of the GUARDIAN. Lewis has "enjoyed his first Wimbledon.” He said, "I think everybody agrees it has been an outstanding Championships.” However, in the middle of the second week, there “was a crescendo of complaints over scheduling and the use of the roof.” Lewis “promises more details” about the Wimbledon '20 plan in the coming months. Gibson noted it “appears that will almost certainly involve a new roof over Court One.” Lewis said, "We're considering a roof on No1 court. The roof is fantastic on Centre Court. It solves a whole load of problems. But it creates a whole load of other discussion points.” Meanwhile, Lewis said that “hospitality revenues are holding up well despite the industry having a ‘tough time’ and is intrigued by the possibilities for the new online Live at Wimbledon service, designed to complement the output of its broadcasting partners.” He already has “created waves by suggesting that Wimbledon be moved back a week to allow the players more time to recover after Roland Garros, potentially from 2014.” Lewis said that it "wouldn't make a ‘scrap of difference commercially’ and was proposed for ‘tennis reasons’ rather than to avoid a repeat of Sunday's collision with the British Grand Prix.” Gibson noted the U.S. Open is “unlikely to be happy” if Wimbledon changes dates. But Lewis said, "There will always be some negative reaction from any sort of change. In the end the decision rests with Wimbledon” (GUARDIAN, 7/10).

BUCKING TRADITION? SI.com’s Bryan Armen Graham noted the courts at the AELTC in preparation for the London Games "have already been festooned with atypical mauve coloring, presumably in advance of forthcoming McDonald's and Coca-Cola logos.” This is despite the fact that Wimbledon has been long celebrated as “a bastion of commercial purity -- a kind of anti-U.S. Open, refreshingly devoid of courtside billboards, rotating signs or corporate logos on the playing surface." Graham: “The all-white dress code that's become synonymous with Wimbledon? Gone.” Players will be “permitted to wear colored garb, though restrictions on manufacturer's logos are nearly as stringent.” No insignias “larger than 20 square centimeters are permitted on a player's clothing or equipment before or after a match or at any press conference or tournament ceremony.” The logos cannot “exceed 6 square centimeters on socks and shoes, hats, handbags and wristbands.” Bags carried on to the court “may have one logo that is larger than 10 percent of the surface area of the bag” (SI.com, 7/9).
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