More stars, more seats, and an Aegon Championships that is bigger and better than ever | Tennis in Britain

More stars, more seats, and an Aegon Championships that is bigger and better than ever


| Aegon Championships

The 2017 expansion at The Queen's Club

Three Grand Slam singles champions have already confirmed that they will play in the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club in June – Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka – with more to come, and 8,000 more tickets were sold when tickets lines opened than ever before. That’s because, aside from the annual demand to attend the prestigious, perennially sold-out tournament, the stadium’s capacity will increase by 30% this year. It means that you can still buy a ticket to see many of the world’s greatest tennis players in action.
Less than three months after Murray lifted the beautiful Aegon Championships trophy for a record fifth time, the first diggers arrived at The Queen’s Club for preparatory work to build the structures that would enable 30% more people to attend the tournament than ever before.

Stephen Farrow, Tournament Director, remembers it well. “Work on the tournament never stops, we have been building towards increasing the capacity of the Aegon Championships for five years, and even during the tournament last year we were putting plans into place for the expansion. It was a big moment for all of us when the work finally got underway,” he said.

Why was the decision made to increase capacity?

“The tournament had always sold out, but in recent years it had been selling out quicker than ever, so we knew the demand was there,” said Farrow. “Plus, with the elevation in status of the tournament from ATP 250 to 500, meaning double the ranking points to the champion and more prize money, and the extra week between the French Open and the start of the Aegon Championships, more leading players than ever before wanted to play. That meant that each day of the tournament the order of play was filled with great, well-known tennis players that people wanted to see. Too many would-be spectators were unable to get tickets and we wanted to find a solution.”

What challenges did the operation present?

“The question was whether the capacity of the stadium, which is built each year into The Queen’s Club over a six-week period starting at the beginning of May, could be increased within the finite space available at what is a working tennis club throughout the year. We needed to relocate Court One in order to build the expanded North Stand on Centre Court, consider the health and safety and security aspects, obtain all the appropriate licenses, consider what the rest of the tournament venue would look like, and factor in all of the other logistical aspects of a major event. We are very fortunate to have a close working relationship with our partners at The Queen’s Club, led by Chief Executive Andrew Stewart. Without that, the expansion would not be possible. Everything is on track and we are excited.”

What else can visitors to the Aegon Championships expect in 2017?

“As well as increasing the number of spectators through the gates, we are very keen to improve their experience. To the new expanded North Stand we have added a 10 metre video screen so that people can watch the action while they are waiting to go in to take their seats. We have more than doubled the space in our public areas, so people can sit, eat and drink protected from any bad weather, not that we intend to get any, and from the balcony of our enhanced Champions restaurant, spectators can have a glass of champagne overlooking our new Courts 1, 2 and 3. We’ve also introduced a new picnic area next to the practice courts so that people can have a bite to eat and soak up the atmosphere while watching players preparing for their matches. We think people will love it. With Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov and Jamie Murray already confirmed to play, we are in for a fantastic week.”




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