SHEFFIELD’S economy has been boosted by £2.4 million as visitors flocked to the city to watch the World Snooker Championship, the council has revealed.
The figure has been worked out based on increased business to hotels, restaurants, shops and other attractions from people who travelled from around the world to watch the contest.
The tournament ended on Monday with experienced John Higgins eventually triumphing over young pretender Judd Trump in a tense final.
Sheffield Council leader Coun Paul Scriven said: “It’s been another excellent year, leading up to what can only be described as classic final.
“Sheffield is of course proud to be home of World Snooker.
“The tournament brings around about £2.4m to the local economy and I’m delighted that Sheffield has been confirmed again as the host for the next four years. We’ve worked hard to showcase Sheffield as a city and I think Sheffield is finally getting the national and international recognition it deserves.”
The contest is believed to have been watched by up to 800 million people around the world.
In the UK, viewing figures for the final, shown on BBC2, reached a peak of 5.3 million although they varied between the afternoon and evening sessions.
The corporation revealed an average of two million tuned in during the afternoon - a 19.4 per cent share of the total viewing audience and a peak of 2.5 million - while the evening session was watched by an average of 3.9 million, a 15.5 per cent share of the total viewing audience and a peak of 5.3 million.
Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre has been home of the championships since 1977.
Barry Hearn, chairman of World Snooker, said: “The tens of thousands of people who come to Sheffield over the 20 days are staying in local hotels, buying meals in restaurants and buying a drink in local pubs.
“Snooker brings in millions of pounds of revenue over the year into Sheffield, culminating in this huge event in the last two weeks of April.”
Mr Hearn said this year’s event was one of the most eagerly-anticipated ever, with ticket sales before the tournament hitting record levels and seats for the last 15 sessions having sold out before the championship had even begun.
Beaten finalist Judd Trump, aged 21, was hailed for his performance after being the second youngest player to reach the final.
“We need people to stand up, get the excitement and the interest of the general public. He’s a breath of fresh air…amongst the younger people he’s going to be a new hero,” Mr Hearn said.