Wimbledon takes out £175m loan to finance roof on No 1. Court
The All England Lawn Tennis Club, which organises the Wimbledon championships, has secured a £175-million ($225-million) loan facility to finance the construction of a retractable roof on No.1 Court.
The roof will cost £71 million and should be completed in time for the 2019 grass court grand slam. Capacity on the court is expected to rise from around 11,500 to 12,400.
The loan facility, revealed in the AELTC's accounts at Companies House, also outlines other improvements planned on the site, such as new clay and covered hard courts, which will not be used for the championships.
Wimbledon generates £125 million over five years from debenture seat sales and this profit will be used to pay off the loan, with extra income from TV rights, ticket sales and sponsorship.
The All England Club paid off a £75-million loan in 2015 that funded the first part of Wimbledon's 'Master Plan', including the Centre Court roof.
Meanwhile, organisers of the Italian Open, one of the leading tennis tournaments on the men's and women's professional circuits, have announced plans to have a roof installed on its main court in 2019.
The main stadium at the Foro Italico, which is situated near the centre of Rome and has hosted the clay court tournament since 1935, seats 10,500 people, and will accommodate an extra 1,500 spectators when the project is finished.