Find out about getting tickets to the four tennis grand slam tournaments.
This is the third article in a series comparing key elements of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
In this article I’ll review ease of getting tickets, including a comparison of ticket costs.
How do the fan slam rankings work?
For each aspect of the tournament each grand slam was rated from 1 to 4, with the best tournament scoring 4 and lowest scoring 1. If two tournaments were equivalent, the total points were shared. For example if two tournaments were equally best, the total points for the top two ratings (4 + 3 = 7) are shared so each tournament receives 3.5.
The scores are based on my opinion and I welcome your feedback in the comments at the end of the article.
At the end of the fan slam ranking series we’ll add up the points to see which tournament is the best overall.
Ease of buying tickets
This category receives double points because let’s face it, if you can’t get tickets, none of the other stuff (getting to the venue, guaranteed play, fan experience etc) matters at all.
US Open : 8
Australian Open : 6
French Open : 4
Wimbledon : 2
Points to note
The US Open is the easiest slam to get tickets for because there are so many seats in Arthur Ashe Stadium. It seats 23,000 in comparison to the main stadiums at the other slams (Philippe Chatrier at Roland Garros, Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne and Wimbledon’s Centre Court) which all seat about 15,000 spectators. However, I learned the hard way that being able to get tickets easily doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a great fan experience. Seats in the promenade of Arthur Ashe Stadium are a looooooooong way from the court. Read more in What to expect when you have tickets for the Arthur Ashe promenade.
The Australian Open is also easy to get tickets for. Like the US Open, at the Australian Open there is both a day session and a night session scheduled on Rod Laver Arena, which doubles the capacity, but also means that you don’t see as many matches as a day session at the French Open and Wimbledon. Value is added to Australian Open ground passes by all the additional activities and entertainment that happens around the grounds, plus the number of big screens that are available for watching matches that in progress on the main courts. Find out more about how to get tickets for the Australian Open, or get insider tips at your finger tips with the Australian Open e-Companion.
I found it relatively easy to buy tickets for the French Open but I needed to be organised in advance and was online as soon as tickets came on sale. Due to the limitation that each person can only attend a maximum of four sessions, I had a list of preferred sessions and courts in case my top picks weren’t available. Find out more in how to buy tickets for the French Open. If you miss out on getting French Open tickets in the initial sale you need to wait for tickets become available via the official ticket marketplace Viagogo.
Wimbledon tickets are by far the hardest to get of any slam. Options include entering a ballot, buying a limited number of tickets online for Centre Court and Court 3 the day before play, buying ticket resales online two days before play or queuing up on the day. Once you have tickets, if they aren’t for Centre Court, you need to pray to the weather gods to hold back the rain so that you actually get to see some tennis. I put a lot of time and energy into different ways to get tickets in advance but until a friend offered me a ticket a week or two before the tournament started I had nothing. I was prepared to queue but didn’t have to in the end because I was able to buy “last minute” tickets online. Find out more in 9 Ways to Get Wimbledon Tickets and A newbies quide to the Wimbledon Queue.
It’s worth adding that the reason why Wimbledon tickets are so highly sought after is that it’s such a wonderful, well organised, classy tournament. And the paper tickets are beautifully designed.
Ticket pricing comparison
There are many different ticket options for each tournament so it’s hard to compare apples with apples but the costs below in USD will give you a rough idea of how the pricing compares. Also note that Australian Open costs are for 2013 while the other slams are 2012 prices.
Cost of a Ground Pass for Day 1 of tournament (USD)
Australian Open : $35
French Open : $31
Wimbledon : $32
US Open : $59
Cost of tickets for the main court for Day 1 of tournament (USD)
Australian Open : $145 (includes tickets for both the day and night sessions)
French Open : $76 (Category 4 ticket, which is the cheapest)
Wimbledon : $71
US Open : $112 (includes an estimate of the cost of Arthur Ashe promenade tickets, prices for lower level seats are considerably more)
Cost of tickets for Men’s final (USD)
Australian Open : $404
French Open : $116 (Category 4 ticket, which is the cheapest)
Wimbledon : $193
US Open : $145 (again this is the cost of an Arthur Ashe promenade ticket, prices for lower level seats are considerably more)
Summary of fan slam rankings to date
US Open : 18
Australian Open : 17.5
French Open : 13.5
Wimbledon : 11
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal