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Get Wimbledon courts full

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wimfan
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Get Wimbledon courts full « on: December 09, 2007, 11:18 AM »
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Last year I had the good luck to win front row Centre Court tickets for the final Sunday in the ballot, and really enjoyed Federer/ Nadal and Jamie’s win in the doubles. I was very disappointed that the doubles was played in front of a half empty court, despite his being the first British man in a final for decades. It was even more disappointing to see the security staff aggressively refusing entry to some of the people on the hill who wanted to come in and fill those empty seats. It was a great atmosphere, but would have been even better with a full court (and Jamie deserved no less).

I had noticed that the show courts were often half empty after the cream tea brigade had left, so I wrote to Richard Grier, the Championship Director, with some ideas on how to fix this problem. He has replied, making it quite clear he is not going to change anything. So I have written to the Championship Committee, pointing out that they are failing tennis fans, that the current method of reallocating the tickets of early leavers is not working, and requesting that they instruct Mr. Grier to come up with some solutions.

I am not hopeful that they will do anything, so I am putting this here to start to test what other fans think, and get ideas as to how to build a groundswell of public opinion, and also how to get the support of players, so they get the unforgettable experience of playing to a full crowd.
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Neil
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #1 on: December 09, 2007, 12:34 PM »
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If people leave, they are requested to deposit their tickets for charity re-sale. The queue for that is always huge every day. If people don't deposit their tickets it's hardly the Championship committee's fault.

Apart from that, i reckon more fans of tennis, not just the cream tea brigade, attend in the earlier rounds to see more players, rather than showing up on finals day. As for the so called "aggressive" stewards, i've never heard so must pish in my life. They are doing their job, and the only reason they would become "aggressive" is if people were doing the same to them. IF people on the hill were asking to get in for free, then they are obviously to much of a bunch of cheap skates to buy tickets.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the way in which ticket re-allocation is worked, if people choose not to use their seats at any point during the day, that is entirely up to them, they paid for the ticket in the first place.

The only aspect of your post I agree with is that it is disappointing centre court is not always full.

Also, you fail to take into account that this was mixed doubles, which isn't even taken seriously by the players or half the fan base, including on here, so why should it be any different at Wimbledon.
[ Last edit by nkp2 December 09, 2007, 12:36 PM ] IP Logged
wimfan
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #2 on: December 10, 2007, 08:58 AM »
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Does nkp2 remember those rainy years when there has been play on the middle Sunday for which all tickets were queued for by fans. Do you remember the atmosphere on the courts on those days, compared to "normal days" when many of the tickets are allocated through hospitality companies to corporate freebies? And the show courts are half empty after tea time throughout the tournament, despite the return ticket shop.

Wimbledon is a national institution, treasure even. I think people should pay for their tickets. But I do think, and you seem to agree, that there is a problem which needs to get fixed. The returns shop is not working well enough. Do you have any ideas how to fix it? I am not bothered whose ideas are used to get the courts full to see the stars in action and create the Wimbledon atmosphere.
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ljsmall
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #3 on: December 10, 2007, 11:27 AM »
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Problem is I don't see how you can do it other than having a return shop. You can't force people to spend the whole day in the court for which they bought a ticket. And you can't give away someon's seat if you don't know they're not coming back. Only way to do this for sure is to have them hand their tickets back in when they're done with them.

On finals day last year the final was a long 5 setter after which I'm sure a lot of people would have wanted to stretch their legs, get some food, go to the toilet or whatever. So it turns out most of them didn't come back, but how could the sterwards have known 90% of the court wouldn't fill up again after 40 mins or so? There was British interest after all.

I remember I went to DC in Glasgow and we lost 4-1 in the end. But it came down to the first Sunday match between Greg and Nole. Place was packed but when Greg lost it emptied. I thought that was a pity cause we still had a little more tennis to get for our money, even if it was a dead rubber. Then after about 6 games at every oppertunity the place begun to fill back up again until by the end of the first set the place was pretty full again. Nobody can say that's not gonna happen unless you have those folks tickets back in your hands.
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wimfan
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 10:23 AM »
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I have lots of ideas on how to fill the courts up, but I don't want to pursue them unless there is actually some enthusiasm to get the courts full again. It seems such a pity that throughout the whole two weeks, the show courts are half empty at the end of the day, the returns shop is closed, but there are crowds sitting watching tv on the hill.

There are lots of ways to fix this problem, as long as everybody accepts that it is a problem that needs to get fixed.
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bestofbarry
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 10:33 AM »
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whats your idea then???
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wimfan
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #6 on: December 12, 2007, 09:15 AM »
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The trouble with sharing ideas is that the world is full of people who just like to critcise others and do nothing to change anything. I'm happy to share my ideas but before we get round to this we need to make sure that people actually want this problem to get fixed. Do you?
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ljsmall
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #7 on: December 12, 2007, 10:54 AM »
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Of course we do. Everyone would like to see the showcourts full all the time. Especially those of us who try to get tickets every year. But we were just pointing out it's not as simple as just opening the gates at the end of the final and letting the hill descend on centre court. What do you suggest?
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wimfan
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #8 on: December 13, 2007, 10:45 AM »
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I am not trying to be a tease here, but if I start putting up ideas too soon there is a small army of people who just love knocking things down. I do have practical ideas, but the first one to pursue is to get fans to express their dissatisfaction with the current situation as strongly as they can, and then require the Wimbledon Committee to instruct the people who run the tournament to come up with ideas to fix this problem.
It doesn't seem like rocket science to me, and they must have more knowledge of the situation. Just at the moment they seem more interested in reasons not to do something. We just need to give them an incentive to be positive.
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Mark
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #9 on: December 13, 2007, 10:51 AM »
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there is a small army of people who just love knocking things down.
So what? Just ignore them if they do indeed exist rather than letting them stop you from expressing your ideas here.
[ Last edit by Mark December 13, 2007, 10:52 AM ] IP Logged
AL1874
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #10 on: December 13, 2007, 11:05 AM »
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It appears that the system in place works, it is just the take up by people with tickets is limited. It could be due to it not being advertised, people wanting to keep their tickets as souvenirs or they can’t be bothered.

Would it not be more effective to target these people more by letting them know of the scheme?

I have never been to Wimbledon so I do not know what is involved in the process but it may need to be made more user friendly, for example if bins to deposit the tickets are located at the exits to the courts so that people do not have to go out of their way there may be greater participation. These could then be checked and emptied on a regular basis and the briefs resold in the normal manner.

Just out of interest how many people who visit Wimbledon still have their ticket stubs? If you want to hold on to your ticket why should the people from centre court be any different.

You could add a tear of portion to the ticket with the seat number that has to be stamped to become valid, that would allow people to keep the original ticket as a memento of the day.

[ Last edit by AL1874 December 13, 2007, 11:19 AM ] IP Logged
measdale
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #11 on: December 14, 2007, 08:56 AM »
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Think Hm ...

Well, if a voluntary scheme exists then either you improve it by increasing the incentive (either publicise it better, or offer a greater reward), or you make it non-voluntary.

I assume the whole system is automated (some kind of barcode swipe?), so you can tell when people leave the arenas and when they return. You could put a caveat into their tickets, such that if they're away for more than (say) an hour then they lose their seat ....
... that would allow enough time for toilet breaks, leg-stretching, quick lunches and champers, strawbs & cream, sheltering form the rain.

If people want to retain their seating rights (eg. they're skipping a match, having a long lunch, watching a match on an outlying court instead) then they just need to remember swipe their ticket every so often.
[ Last edit by measdale December 14, 2007, 01:54 PM ] IP Logged
ljsmall
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #12 on: December 14, 2007, 09:16 AM »
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Hmmm, don't know if that would work. I think making it compulsory is probably a good idea but it should probably just be if you're leaving the ground for the day. Don't think you can take people's seats off them if they're away for an hour, especially considering what you pay for them. Take the tickets at the ground entrance not the court so that if you're leaving the ground for the day you have to give your tickets back.

The barcode system is a great idea to solve the if you want to keep your ticket issue. Scan the tickets as they leave the ground then you can re-print a ticket for that seat to sell. Having said this it would require a heck of a lot more staff even just at the re-issue desk for a start. Cause there'd be much more tickets available so it would become even more popular. You might even be able to charge more and make more for charity earlier in the day.

But all of these solutions would take so much staff and new electronic systems set up etc you'd really need to convince the powers that be that it's worth it. And I don't think they see the problem.
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AL1874
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #13 on: December 14, 2007, 10:24 AM »
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I would not be happy if after paying for a seat I was obliged to sit in it all day or lose it. Why should I rush a lunch or be forced to sit through a game in which I have little or no interest in just so it looks good for the TV?

If I’m lucky enough to get tickets through the ballot I would not feel in the slightest way obligated to use this scheme or guilty if I did not.

Just as if I get tickets in the ballot and cannot attend through work commitments, I would also feel no guilt about not returning them, because of the chance that I may get the time off at the last minute, the only loser is myself since I’m the one out of pocket.
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measdale
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Re: Get Wimbledon courts full « Reply #14 on: December 14, 2007, 02:09 PM »
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Hmmm, don't know if that would work. I think making it compulsory is probably a good idea but it should probably just be if you're leaving the ground for the day. Don't think you can take people's seats off them if they're away for an hour, especially considering what you pay for them. Take the tickets at the ground entrance not the court so that if you're leaving the ground for the day you have to give your tickets back.


Problem with that would be how you could tell if someone was leaving the ground for the day? Surely people nip out and back in?


The barcode system is a great idea to solve the if you want to keep your ticket issue. Scan the tickets as they leave the ground then you can re-print a ticket for that seat to sell. Having said this it would require a heck of a lot more staff even just at the re-issue desk for a start. Cause there'd be much more tickets available so it would become even more popular. You might even be able to charge more and make more for charity earlier in the day.


Why would it need staff? Tickets can be issued (and payment made) quite satisfactoriliy from a line of machines (one person to keep an eye on them, if you want).


But all of these solutions would take so much staff and new electronic systems set up etc you'd really need to convince the powers that be that it's worth it. And I don't think they see the problem.


Forget the "problem" approach.
Sell it to them as an opportunity to make more money, ie. make Wimbledon more profitable (forget the charity aspect as well - that's just to convince people to freely give their tickets up). It should be pretty easy to recoup the infrastructure investment within five years, probably a lot less.

All the transport companies would have gone bust by now if they couldn't sell someone's seat again after they'd got off the train/bus! It's the same logic from a money point of view (but just trickier to work out when the seat's available).


I would not be happy if after paying for a seat I was obliged to sit in it all day or lose it. Why should I rush a lunch or be forced to sit through a game in which I have little or no interest in just so it looks good for the TV?


The time delay would mean you wouldn't have to sit in the seat all day.

Also, it would be fairly practical to include a texting or internet service to re-swipe tickets - to keep your seat "live", if you like, in the event of not even wanting to be onsite. Like confirming your air ticket remotely, so you don't have to hang around the airport two hours in advance.
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