Wimbledon will go through the £million mark for the first time in 2010 with the men’s and ladies singles champions walking away with a seven figured winners’ check for the first time in history.
Total prize money for the Championships will rise to $21 million this year, an increase of $1.75 million on 2009. And the singles champions will each receive $1.54 million, an increase of $225,000 from last year.
Tim Phillips, in his last year as Chairman of the All England Club and the Wimbledon Championships before handing over to Phil Brook in December, proudly announced: “Prize money here has doubled in the last ten years.
Wimbledon exists in a highly competitive market place and it is the world’s best players who create and drive the interest. It is important that we offer a level of prize money which is both appropriate to the prestige of the event and which the players full and fair reward.”
Wimbledon is now financially on a par with the US Open which last year paid $1.25 million to singles champions Juan Martin Del Potro and Kim Clijsters. Phillips maintained the differential in interest rates compared to previous Championships, a drop of 20% to 25% against both the US dollar and Euro, was integral to the All England Club’s thinking.
“We need to offer prize money that is commensurate to the prestige of the Championships and the international market,” insisted Phillips. “Sterling has steeply fallen against the dollar and the euro in the past three years so our increases are slightly larger than they might have been to reflect that factor. Players are what this tournament is all about and we need to fairly reward their phenomenal effort.”
This year’s singles finalists will each have $770,000 to help them through their disappointment while first round losers will pocket $16,800, an increase of just 4.7% from the 2009 figure compared to the 17.6% increase for both the winners and finalists up. Men’s and Ladies Doubles champions will get $360,000 a pair while the Mixed Doubles champions will split $138,000.
However Wimbledon’s income will be slightly decreased this year because the newly built No.3 Court, positioned on the site of the old Graveyard of Champions, will not be ready for competition until 2011.
This year, the daily ground capacity will be reduced by 2,500 from 40,000 to 37,500. This will lead to a reduction in ground tickets for sale each day and therefore a lower overall attendance.
But the All England Club has struck new five-year deals with two of their major suppliers. Hertz will be responsible for the players and officials’ car transport for another five years while Robinsons, celebrating their 75th anniversary of having their soft drinks on the umpires’ chairs, have signed a new five year agreement.
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