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New roof ready on Wimbledon No.1 Court

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine have announced the completion of the No.1 Court Project on time and on budget.

Commencing in 2016, the No.1 Court Project has been a highly complex three-year build.

In addition to a new fixed and retractable roof, it has an increased capacity of 12,345 and includes: the replacement of all seats inside the stadium for improved spectator comfort; 15 refurbished hospitality suites and various back- of-house areas; a two-level Walled Garden public plaza; and a living wall either side of the Big Screen facing Aorangi Terrace.

A central consideration of the No.1 Court redesign was to ensure that the right shape of roof opening was created to maximise the natural light levels on the court to support the growth of the grass, while also trying to give a curved feel to the stadium to reflect the historic circular design of the No.1 Court.

The No.1 Court roof has 11 steel trusses, each weighing 100 tonnes; two more moving trusses than Centre Court due to the larger aperture. Moving each of them onto the No.1 Court required a 600- tonne crawler crane, with 300 tonnes of counterweight.

The retractable roof requires 164 drives and motors to move it.

There are 200,000 bolts holding the steel structure together and a further 4,500 anchors tying the steel structure to the existing concrete structure.

Some 7,500m2 of fabric was procured for the roof assembly, enough to cover 38 tennis courts.

The No.1 Court Project required an average of 80,000 man hours per month to complete.

On Sunday 19 May, the AELTC will stage The No.1 Court Celebration in support of the Wimbledon Foundation, a programme of tennis and music to entertain a capacity crowd and mark the first official deployment of the new roof.

Inside No.1 Court in April 2019 with the new roof half closed at the end of roof construction project. At The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Thursday 26/04/2019. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

The AELTC has also demonstrated its confidence in the future of The Championships with the announcement of a series of significant enhancements for The Championships 2019 and beyond, including: The successful acquisition of Wimbledon Park Golf Club and initial planning for a new AELTC Master Plan; Further improvements in the developing strategy for sustainability and the environment including the introduction of a 100% recyclable and recycled bottle by evian, Official Water of The Championships.

Philip Brook, Chairmanof the AELTC, commented:

As I approach the end of my tenure as Chairman of the AELTC and The Championships, I have been proud to have witnessed a period of significant change over the past decade. The investment we have made in our Estate, in the grass court season, in facilities for all of our guests both onsite and around the world, in prize money, in the surplus to the LTA, and in our staff, has resulted in strong foundations for the future of The Championships and of our sport as we plan for a new period of leadership.

The enhancements announced for 2019, in particular the successful completion of the No.1 Court Project, continue to reflect our confidence in the future and in our strategy of continuous improvement, to maintain Wimbledon’s place at the pinnacle of the sport.