Photo By All England Club By Alberto Amalfi
Wimbledon will super-size its seats. In an effort to accommodate its increasingly-expanding fan base, the All England Club announced it will expand the size of the seats at Centre Court as part of its planned $181 million renovation that will include a retractable roof on the Centre Court stadium.
Last year's 1,500-seat reduction of Centre Court tickets sold to the public on "People's Saturday" made a Centre Court seat hard to reach for some fans queuing up outside the grounds of the All England Club. And increasing protuberant posteriors inside the stadium made seat space scarce for some spectators who complained fans with big butts were squeezing them out of their own seats as they occupied a seat and a half worth of space.
The All England Club plans to install seats that measure a minimum of 18 inches across, which is at least 10 percent wider than some of the the current Centre Court seats, which span about 15 inches in some sections.
Installed in 1922, the original Centre Court seats — as well as the fans who sat in them — were smaller than the proposed replacements and did not offer padding. They will be removed from the stadium and auctioned as collector's items. The new seats will be padded, which should make them more comfortable.
Centre court seats are expanding and so is the seating capacity. The All England Club plans to add six additional rows of seating to expand the stadium capacity from 13,800 to 15,000.