Sheffield retains rights to Snooker World Championships

Mark Selby celebrates winning the final of the 2014 World Snooker Championships at The Crucible, Sheffield.

Mark Selby celebrates winning the final of the 2014 World Snooker Championships at The Crucible, Sheffield.

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Sheffield is to host the 40th anniversary of the World Snooker Championship - after the city fought off competition to retain the rights to stage the contest until 2017.

The tournament, the most prestigious in snooker, was first staged at the Crucible in 1977, meaning it will now celebrate its 40th anniversary at the venue.

Council chiefs claim snooker is worth over £5 million a year to the city based on direct economic impact and worldwide publicity for Sheffield.

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The new deal, announced by World Snooker Limited and Sheffield Council, will the see the Crucible Theatre remaining as the tournament venue.

Council leader Julie Dore said: “We are delighted to keep the World Championship in Sheffield.

“It’s very important to Sheffield because for those two weeks it puts the city right in the spotlight not just nationally but internationally. This deal shows that Sheffield has real ambition. We are determined to use this partnership with World Snooker to grow their audiences and open up new global business opportunities for the city.”

Barry Hearn, chairman of World Snooker, said: “Snooker fans and players alike will be thrilled to hear this news as Sheffield and the Crucible are such an integral part of the history of the World Championship.

“Many thousands of people make snooker’s greatest pilgrimage each year to witness the intense and magical ambience that the Crucible generates.

“Many of snooker’s great names have lifted the famous trophy at the Crucible, including Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O’Sullivan and the reigning champion Mark Selby.

“It’s marvellous to have the continued support of Sheffield City Council and to take the agreement up to the 40th anniversary and hopefully beyond.”

The 2015 World Championship runs from April 18 to May 4.

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