3/23/13 1:18 AM | Johan Lindahl
The All England Club is reportedly planning a roof over the Court 1 showcase as part of a "Wimbledon 2020" redevelopment plan which would keep the elite grass event in the top tier of Grand Slams facilities.
The facilities race at the four majors is turning into a two-speed affair, with Wimbledon and Melbourne sprinting ahead of the US and French Opens, neither of whom have viable plans on the table for improvements at this time.
London's Daily Mail reported that plans for the second roof could be unveiled in April around the time of the annual prize money announcement. The paper says that since No. 1 was designed to someday take a roof, the project will not be an complex as the mounting of a roof on Centre court completed in 2009 which has transformed the most regal of the four Slams.
With two roofs in place, Wimbledon can guarantee matches for 27,000 spectators no matter the fickle British weather. The report says that the cost of the second retractable roof will come in at less than the estimated $200 million-plus that it cost to cover Centre court.
The Australian Open has two roofs with a third on the way while Paris plans for one have been knocked back by authorities in a legal dispute. The US Open lags the rest, with no plans for anything yet in place at an event whose men's final has been postponed five times in the past five years due to rain and no roof over an aging showcourt.
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