This week, Wimbledon announced the price of its next five-year debentures for No.1 Court. But are they worth buying?
No.1 Court debentures entitle the holder to a seat in No.1 Court every day for the first ten days of the championships, plus access to the Debenture lounge, restaurants and bars. Centre Court debentures give you one seat for every day of the championships, including the finals. Both are valid for the whole day, and allow you access to all the outer courts, too.
The bad news is that they've more than doubled in price since the last issue a debenture for No.1 Court for the period 2017-2022 will set you back £31,000 (2012-2016 debentures cost a measly £13,700). Just 1,000 are available to buy. A total of 2,500 Centre Court debentures for the period 2016-2020 were sold for £50,000 each in 2014. Debentures for the previous period, 2011-2015, cost just £27,500.
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For that, you get no interest payments. There is something of a silver lining, however holders may sell their debentures on the open market. And people are prepared to pay handsomely.
Numis Securities holds a weekly auction of debentures (subject to any being available). The last three 2016-2020 Centre Court debenture trades went for an average of £113,500 according to the All England Club. The last three 2012-2016 No.1 Court debentures went for an average of £19,533 (with one Championships remaining).
Unlike all other Wimbledon tickets, however, debenture tickets are freely tradeable on the open market. And they're some of the best seats in the house. The most expensive ticket on No.1 Court this year, for the men's quarter finals, costs £730. If you want to see the men's final on Centre Court, it'll cost you £3,905. The ladies' final is a snip at £1,130.
In total, it will cost you £20,985 to buy debenture tickets for every day on Centre Court this year.So if you really, really, really like tennis, and are keen onthe idea of rubbing shoulders with all the top people, youmay think it'sworth it.
If you fancy buying a 2017-2020 debenture for No.1 Court, you can apply online here.
Ben studied modern languages at London University's Queen Mary College. After dabbling unhappily in local government finance for a while, he went to work for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh. The launch of the paper's website, scotsman.com, in the early years of the dotcom craze, saw Ben move online to manage the Business and Motors channels before becoming deputy editor with responsibility for all aspects of online production for The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News websites, along with the papers' Edinburgh Festivals website.
Ben joined MoneyWeek as website editor in 2008, just as the Great Financial Crisis was brewing. He has written extensively for the website and magazine, with a particular emphasis on alternative finance and fintech, including blockchain and bitcoin. As an early adopter of bitcoin, Ben bought when the price was under $200, but went on to spend it all on foolish fripperies.
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