Wimbledon has reportedly paid $2 million a year for 17 years to be protected by something called pandemic insurance. So with the COVID-19 crisis hitting the world, the annual major tennis tournament has been canceled altogether, rather than postponed like many other major sporting events around the globe.
Wimbledon’s insurance policy for canceling its tournament is worth a cool $141 million in American dollars, according to a tweet from Darren Rovell, a sports business reporter with Action Network who has covered the story since Wimbledon announced its cancellation.
Last week, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) mentioned the policy when announcing the tournament’s cancelation.
So for the $34 million paid for this insurance over 17 years, and with a $141 million return, it looks like: Advantage, WImbledon.
The tournament rakes in money for the All England Club through sponsorships, TV contracts, ticket sales and a wide array of revenue streams.
It’s been nearly a month since sports around the world began canceling or postponing their seasons and championships because of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Basketball Association on March 11 announced it was suspending its season, and potentially its playoffs, until further notice after a player from the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus. Then, on the next day, Major League Baseball canceled the final two weeks of its spring training and indefinitely postponed the start of its season, which was scheduled to start on March 26.
The NCAA on March 12 announced it was canceling all of its winter and spring championships, which included the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, college baseball and softball, lacrosse and track and field.
Since then, the National Hockey League postponed its season and playoffs until further notice, three major golf tournaments were postponed until late summer and early fall, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes were postponed, the Boston Marathon was moved and so were counteless other sporting events.
The French Open tennis tournament was one of those. That tournament is the next major tennis event in line, originally set for May but rescheduled for the fall. The next tennis tournament after that was Wimbledon, which had the luxury of canceling altogether.
The coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China during late 2019, and by April 8, more than 1.5 million people worldwide have tested positive for the virus, and there have been more than 88,000 deaths around the globe.
In the United States, there have been more than 425,000 cases—the most by any country. The U.S. has more than 14,500 deaths so far. The United Kingdom, where Wimbledon is played, has just more than 60,000 total cases and 7,000 deaths.
President Donald Trump said on March 29 he expects the number of cases and deaths in America to peak by April 12, and that the social distancing guidelines have been extended to April 30. Trump also said he expects a “full recovery” by June 1.