Wimbledon takes over New York City as the tournament expands beyond UK borders

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Wimbledon

(LONDON) — There is only one place in the world where you can be greeted by Wimbledon stewards and invited to immerse yourself in the quintessential experience of British tradition and fare, with iconic strawberries & cream and Pimm’s served in a beautiful garden bar.

Well, now you can make that two as Wimbledon expands its experience across the pond in New York City.

It might not be as big as the British Invasion — a cultural movement in the mid 1960s when all aspects of British music, lifestyle and entertainment exploded onto the scene and became popular in the United States — but, already in its third year and having moved to a much larger and more picturesque location, Wimbledon’s invasion of New York City already seems to be a smash hit.

The Hill in New York — the name of Wimbledon’s New York City event — is a reference to the famed hill at Wimbledon where thousands of spectators on “Henman Hill” or “Murray Mound” gather at this natural tennis amphitheater with their picnics to cheer on the biggest matches that are being shown on the giant screen attached to Court One.

“We want to engage people and give them the opportunity to be able to experience the magic of Wimbledon, Wimbledon’s Director of Commercial and Marketing, Usama Al-Qassab, told ABC News during a visit just days before the start of Wimbledon. “We have the most beautiful grounds, probably outside of Augusta for any sports tournament and we want people to be able to experience beyond the tennis, beyond what they can watch on a screen, and it made perfect sense for us to be able to take what we have as our iconic hill into new destinations. It is great that we can geographically expand and give people the opportunity to experience that because not everyone’s got the opportunity to jump on a plane across the pond, much less be able to get a ticket to Wimbledon.”

Starting in 2022, the event is set to be bigger and better than ever after successful runs the previous two years.

Wimbledon organizers think that The Hill in New York’s new location next to a nine-acre area of Brooklyn Bridge Park in the Dumbo neighborhood, which offers a picturesque location and sweeping views over Manhattan and the East River, will offer an idyllic setting for fans to experience Wimbledon, even if it is not on the grounds of SW19 more than 3,000 miles away.

In fact, the third installment of the British event on American soil will double the event’s capacity to 3,500 fans each day, ensuring that more tennis enthusiasts can participate in the experience.

“We are delighted that The Hill in New York will be back for a third edition. The event has really begun to establish itself as a special occasion where Wimbledon fans can gather, enjoy the live tennis, and feel part of The Championships, even from afar,” said Wimbledon’s Chief Executive Sally Bolton. “This year’s edition will be bigger and better, with our new location at Brooklyn Bridge Park allowing even more people to come along and enjoy the mix of music and tennis. We look forward to celebrating Wimbledon finals weekend with New York’s passionate tennis fans.”

The festivities do not run for the full 14 days of the tournament but, instead, will run the last three days over the final weekend when the men’s and women’s singles and doubles finals will take place.

Beginning on the last Friday, July 12, The Hill on New York kicks the tennis celebration off with a free concert headlined by former Pussycat Doll and Broadway star Nicole Scherzinger, who will be joined by American singer-songwriter AJ Mitchell as the supporting act.

The event then pivots to championship weekend on Saturday as thousands of fans will be invited into the event from 8:30 a.m. each day with play set to begin at 9 a.m., complete with Wimbledon stewards and stands selling strawberries and cream along with Pimm’s and lemonade — two British staples that have become a tradition of the Wimbledon experience.

“I am delighted that we are returning to New York for a third year, continuing our commitment to broadening the Wimbledon fan experience beyond SW19. Our new location for The Hill in New York is bigger and better, so that even more fans can experience the magic of Wimbledon, even from afar,” said Usama Al-Qassab, Marketing and Commercial Director at The All England Lawn Tennis Club. “We could not be more excited to be in Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer, and the special performance by Nicole Scherzinger should take the fan experience to another level.”

The event, which aims to replicate the atmosphere of The Hill at Wimbledon, will air the ladies’ singles and gentlemen’s doubles finals on Saturday, and the gentlemen’s singles and ladies’ doubles finals on Sunday. Additionally, when the live matches finish for the day, The Hill in New York plan on airing sunset screenings of notable Wimbledon matches featuring tennis legends as the tournament draws to a close.

“What you’ll be able to experience is the food, so strawberries and cream that are iconic with Wimbledon. You’ll be able to drink Pimm’s, you’ll be able to sit on your rug and bring in a picnic and enjoy food and drink as you would on the Henman Hill, and most importantly, have a communal experience enjoying Wimbledon and all it has to offer,” Al-Qassab said. “We’re planning on the service standards that we have here at Wimbledon to be exactly the same in New York and we’re hoping to bring a little slice of Wimbledon SW19 to Brooklyn.”

Nicole Scherzinger expressed her enthusiasm about her involvement with Wimbledon, saying “I’ve been fortunate enough to call London my second home for many years, and I am looking forward to returning to Wimbledon which is always such a wonderful day out. I am thrilled to be a part of bringing the spirit of Wimbledon to New York City, creating an iconic event that blends the excitement of world-class tennis with the vibrant energy of this incredible city.”

The New York event will be free, unlike the tournament, but fans must secure their tickets through an online ballot or try getting in on a limited number of walk-in spots.

With the expansion of Wimbledon to include a burgeoning event in New York City for the third year in a row, it is clear that the growth of the game — and of Wimbledon — is something that organizers will look to keep doing and perhaps replicate in other global cities, especially in light of the tournament’s announcement in June that The All England Club’s total prize money fund for The Championships 2024 will be a record £50 million.

In fact, during just the last 10 years alone, total prize money for The Championships has doubled, from £25 million in 2014 to £50 million in 2024, according to Wimbledon, with the gentlemen’s and ladies’ singles champions and runners-up set to receive £2.7 million and £1.4 million respectively.

Said Deborah Jevans, Chair of the All England Club: “Interest in attending Wimbledon has never been greater, with unprecedented demand for tickets through our public ballot and corporate hospitality. A thriving, successful Championships gives us the opportunity to give back: to the sport, to our local community, and to strategically invest for the future.”

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