This summer, sport lovers and immersive experience enthusiasts will have the unique chance to travel back four decades to relive one of the greatest tennis tournaments of all time - The Championships, Wimbledon 1980.
Marking the AELTC’s first ever public event outside the annual staging of The Championships, attendees will go behind the scenes to experience the distinctive culture and lifestyle of the era.
The immersive event will conjure up evocative moments from the 1980 Fortnight, including Björn Borg’s titanic battle with John McEnroe, widely regarded as one of the finest and most engrossing Grand Slam Singles finals in history, Evonne Goolagong’s surprise win over Chris Evert - the first mother to win a Grand Slam singles title - and a multitude of other intricate details such as the debut of ‘Cyclops’, the grandfather of electronic line-calling.
Incorporating a mix of film, live actors, projection and period props, the multisensory experience will thrust guests into the heart of the action as they are taken through the stages of the tournament from start to finish.
Vintage 1980s living rooms - replete with operating VHS players, period upholstery, and lively patterned wallpaper - will sit alongside a retro video games arcade and vintage jukebox areas.
Guests will be encouraged to dress in clothing of the era, and will have their taste buds tickled by vintage vol-au-vents and timeworn tipples at the 1980 Wimbledon bar, where they’ll rub shoulders with roving TV reporters, players and paparazzi.
This world-first experience is a collaboration between AELTC and sports event producers Rematch, proving that the combination of sport, theatre and cinema is a winning one.
Mick Desmond, Commercial & Media Director, AELTC, commented: “We’re immensely proud and excited to be leading the way for sport with this innovative project, where guests can experience the cherished nostalgia of the 80s and Wimbledon’s place within that epic summer in a way never before imagined. Not only do we hope to provide something for die-hard fans who were there at the time, we hope to engage a new generation of event-goers in the magic of the Wimbledon experience.”
Arranged across four exclusive sessions on 28, 29 and 30 June - on the eve of the 2019 edition of The Championships - the inaugural event at the newly opened Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre will offer tennis fans and non-sport fans alike a truly new perspective.
Richard Ayers, Rematch Founder, commented: “This is a ground-breaking new development in the live experience of sport. To be launching the concept with such an iconic partner as Wimbledon is an honour for Rematch. Together we will bring to life The Championships 1980 in a phenomenal new way that explores the moment as never before. Every aspect is driven by meticulous attention to detail and innovative production techniques. With highly creative programming and multifaceted elements to surprise and delight our guests, we believe this is going to be one of the hottest tickets this summer.”