Posts Tagged ‘crowds’

Wimbledon in the recession

July 9, 2009
Wimbledon - The Hordes
Image by ucayman via Flickr

Wimbledon doesn’t really show any signs of there being a recession on.

I thought we are supposed to be in a recession with everyone feeling the economic pinch and cutting back their expenditure? I went to the Wimbledon Championships twice in the last two weeks, and on that basis you would seriously question how bad this ‘recession’ is.

Firstly the numbers of people visiting… it was absolutely packed, it seemed much busier than in the last two years. On day two of the chamionships they had around 43,000 people come through the gates!  That is around £1.25m per day (based on the pricing for the first 2 days and court capacities) in admissions alone.

If we do a quick and very rough calculation of people buying things there:

  • Strawberries & cream (say 1/3 buy 1 @ £2.25) = £31,927.50
  • Water/Soft Drink (3/4 buy 1 @ £2) = £64,500
  • Pimms (1/4 buy 1 @ £6) = £64,500
  • Lunch (2/3 buy 1 @ £6) = £172,000
  • Gift/clothing from shop (1/2 spend £20) = £430000
  • Total = £762,927.50

Now that is a very rough estimate (and I think on the low side) of what people might be spending on their day out at Wimbledon.

Personally, as a tennis player and fan, I think Wimbledon is very good value for what you get:

  • Top professionals playing a few feet away (on outer courts anyway)
  • play going on from 12 until around 8 or 9pm
  • the atmosphere (a big thing for some, especially the afterwork city-types who come in after 5pm to sit out at the long bar drinking Pimms and people-watching)
  • etc. etc.

I started off this post planning to say that it is incredible that so many people have visited Wimbledon this year (in the heart of a recession) when it costs so much. But now I am not so sure, compared with other sporting events/entertainment it is actually quite good value. Football at Arsenal for example costs anywhere from £32-£92 for a 90-minute match…

It will be interesting to see how attendances at football stadia across the UK are affected over the first couple of months of the 2009/10 season. I predict falls (Except maybe for the very biggest clubs).

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