Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Snooker: York Out! Telford In!

Due to lots of building work going on at the Barbican in York, World Snooker have decided to move the Maplin UK Championships to the Telford International Centre.

This is a big loss for York, they weren't hoping to lose the tournament but lots of delays gave World Snooker cold feet, and they decided to jump ship. I'm sure they don't want the tournament going on in the middle of a monumental "viking style" building site.

The Telford International Centre has previously staged two ranking tournaments, the 2000 Grand Prix and the 2002 British Open, as well as the qualifying rounds of the 2002 World Championship.

A spokesman for World Snooker said, "From past experience we know that the Telford International Centre has proved a popular venue for the players, and that there is enthusiastic support for snooker in the area, so we are delighted to be staging one of our biggest tournaments there."
Maplin Marketing Director David O'Reilly said: "Maplin is excited about moving to the Telford International Centre. I think this is an excellent venue to host one of the most important events in the snooker calendar."

Tom Gray, CEO at The International Centre, said: "We are very much looking forward to hosting the Maplin UK Championship in December. It is a fantastic event - not just for our venue but for the whole of Shropshire."

"Since we last hosted a snooker tournament, our venue has gone through a massive redevelopment programme, which has seen the addition of purpose-built conference and seminar rooms, as well as the addition of a second on-site hotel, and a third just two minutes away.

"These developments help to ensure that we are a first class venue worthy of hosting such a prestigious event."

It's not known if the UK championships will move back to the Barbican next season. I'm sure Telford will want the event for more than one season. It's a bit of a blunder from the bosses at the Barbican to get themselves into a situation where they've managed to lose the event. I'm pretty sure World Snooker didn't want to leave York, as everybody involved thinks the Barbican is a great venue for a major snooker tournament. Maybe they'll get some other tournament back next season.

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