How are specific seats allocated at the Wimbledon Championships?

The allocation of seats at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships is a complex process. Whether you get a ticket and where you end up sitting will depend on a number of factors.

In this article we explain the different ways to obtain tickets to the Tournament, and what your options are if you want to watch the action on a specific day, court or from a specific seat.

Public Ballot Tickets

Every year the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) hold a Public Ballot for Wimbledon tickets. Tickets are always oversubscribed so applicants are far from guaranteed a ticket.

If your application in the Public Ballot is successful, you will be notified of the court number, date and seat number of your ticket. AELTC rules prohibit the sale or exchange of tickets obtained through the public ballot. You can either accept or reject public ballot tickets. Rejected tickets are re-balloted.

You can only apply for one pair of tickets per household.

Note that there will not be a public ballot in 2022. Due to COVID-19 disruption, tickets from the 2020 ballot have been rolled over to the 2022 Wimbledon tournament.

The Queue

The AELTC retains around 500 tickets (per court) for Centre Court, Court No. 1 and Court No.2 for each day of play. These tickets are allocated to the Wimbledon queue. Seat numbers are not known until they are allocated to people in the queue on a first come first served basis.

Competition is fierce and to be in with a real chance of watching any matches on the show courts, you will probably need to camp out.

If you are prepared to join the queue early enough, you can determine which day and even which court you will end up on.

You will still have to accept whatever seat you are given, however, and tickets cannot be swapped or exchanged with others.

Debenture tickets

Debenture Ticket seats offer the best views of Centre Court or No. 1 Court.

Debenture holders purchase 5 years of debenture tickets on Centre Court or No.1 Court, for each day of The Championships.

Wimbledon Debenture Tickets are the only tickets to the Championships that can are legally transferable. Most debenture holders will sell at least some of their tickets in any given year.

This means that you can purchase a ticket to either Centre Court or No. 1 Court for your preferred day.

Debenture seats are located on the same tier as the Royal Box. Whether your assigned ticket is over the side-line or baseline is a lottery which drawn each year by the Debenture Office.

Specific seat numbers for debenture tickets aren’t allocated by the Debenture Office until the May before the Tournament.  So if you own or buy a Debenture Ticket before May, you won’t know where you will be sitting until the draw.

Once seats are allocated, there is typical a flurry of activity in the debenture ticket secondary market where specific seat tickets are bought, sold and swapped.

Which seat is better for you will be subjective. Some fans prefer to be seated over the baseline – others prefer the side-line. Some prefer the sun, others prefer the shade. As such, it is not uncommon for tennis fans to buy debenture tickets well ahead of May and then exchange tickets with other debenture ticket holders after the seat allocation.

Can I choose my seat at the Wimbledon Championships?

If you are successful in the Public or Overseas Ballot, or if you mange to get tickets in the Queue, you will be offered tickets drawn at random from a lottery. You cannot choose or swap seats and you cannot sell or swap these tickets.

If you are a Debenture Holder, your specific seat will be assigned in May before the Tournament. You will of course know which Court you will be on and that your seat will be in the Debenture seating rows.

If you buy a Debenture Ticket before the AELTC assigns the seats in May, you won’t know your exact seat number this date. If you wait until May, you may be able to buy your ticket selectively and choose your seat. However Debenture Tickets are snapped up quickly so you may find that you have few options as the Tournament nears.

Get the seat you want

if you are hoping to attend the Wimbledon Championships in2022, we currently have tickets available for all days of the Tournament.