Centre Court at Wimbledon gets all the love, being the only stadium with a roof over a grass court for The Championships in London. That all changes with the reconstruction of Court 1, which will add a retractable roof by 2019.
Leading into the 2017 event, the work was evident at Court 1. When it is all wrapped up, expect to see an additional 900 seats and new wider, more comfortable seating throughout the stadium A new two-level public plaza in place of Court 19 also offers improved concessions and hospitality. But what has most people talking is the new roof for the roughly 12,400 seats inside.
During the 2017 event, play was halted on outdoor courts in the second week, but the Centre Court roof allowed for the continuation of the main draws, helping keep the tournament on track. Rain in the first week will require both courts to help ease the scheduling nightmare, if even a tad. The 2019 will at least have that opportunity.
Wimbledon, even when it adds a second court with a roof still falls behind the Australian Open when it comes to setting the pace for retractable roof options. In Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and HiSense Arena all have retractable coverings. The U.S. Open in New York debuted its new retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest tennis stadium in the world, in 2016 and Roland Garros in Paris still has plans for a retractable roof of its own.
Wimbledon remains steeped in tradition, but when it comes to stadiums, modern rules the day.