Snooker championships gave Sheffield its biggest break ever

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THIS year’s World Snooker Championship gave Sheffield its biggest break ever, according to the results of a financial study.

Economic analysis commissioned by Welcome to Yorkshire reveals that hosting the event in Sheffield continues to produce an excellent return on investment for both the city and the Yorkshire region.

The report concludes the championship had a direct economic impact in Sheffield of £2.3 million.

And, as in previous years, the biggest areas where fans spent their cash were accommodation and food and drink.

Every £1 invested by Sheffield Council and Welcome to Yorkshire in the event brought £5.34 in additional expenditure into the local economy.

The other major benefit of hosting the Championship is, they say, the extensive media exposure, including more than 120 hours of coverage on the BBC with peak viewing figures of 6.6 million - the best figure in the past five years, with the average audience for the last session of the final was 3.9 million, a 50 per cent increase on 2010.

And in China, the second session of the Ding Junhui versus Judd Trump semi-final was the highest rated sports programme of 2011 to date, with a peak audience of 30 million.

Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, cabinet member for business, jobs and growth, said: “This is exactly why the city council is committed to retaining and supporting the most prestigious event in the snooker calendar.

“Hosting the World Championship instils pride in the people of Sheffield and enhances our reputation as a leading city of sport.”

Creative Sheffield director David Fletcher added: “This analysis demonstrated that hosting the World Snooker Championship is still extremely beneficial to the city.”