‘Hosting World Snooker Championship is a great advert for Sheffield’

People living in Sheffield welcomed the return of the World Snooker Championship to the city as action got underway at the Crucible Theatre.

Monday, 15th April 2019, 09:28 am
Updated Sunday, 21st April 2019, 08:39 am

The sport’s showpiece event began on Saturday and will see the top 32 players battle it out over 17 days of competition in the city.

And, after Sheffield Council said it would bring around a £3 million boost to the city’s economy, Star readers said they welcomed the event and the benefits it brings.

Defending champion Mark Williams celebrates his victory over Martin Gould during day one of the 2019 Betfred World Championship at The Crucible, Sheffield. Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire

Ziggy Schofield said: “It's great for Sheffield and we need more things coming here. It doesn't matter whether you like snooker or not, it's a great advert for the city.”

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Lorraine Concannon said: “I only watch snooker when it's on at The Crucible – I like to think they are playing a few miles from my house. Our city centre buzzes when the snooker is on, hope the weather stays nice.”

The Crucible, along with colleagues at Sheffield Council, fought off competition from other countries, including China, where the sport’s popularity is growing at an incredible pace in 2016 to keep snooker in the city until 2027.

And Sheffield city centre has been transformed to welcome the players, officials, world’s media and fans.

World Snooker branding masks the Crucible Theatre from the outside and a huge screen has been set up in Tudor Square, where fans can to soak up the sunshine and watch the action.

The Peace Gardens have also been transformed with pictures of the sports top players – including Ronnie O’Sullivan - donning the Surrey Street entrance.

Inside, the BBC TV studio is set up as part of the Cue Zone.

John Turner said: “There is such a good atmosphere in and around the Crucible when the snooker is on. It always seems to be sunny too so good for the cafés and bars in Tudor Square.

“Whether you like snooker or not you can’t say that having the World Championship in our city isn't positive.”