World Snooker Championships ‘a great boost’ for Sheffield’s hospitality sector
As the nation cautiously returns to normality, Sheffield's own Crucible Theatre has become an indicator that the city is now ready to move into the post Covid era.
The iconic venue, which has been hosting the World Snooker Championships for the past four decades, has seen yet another successful year despite limitations.
Over the long weekend, the theatre has seen full capacity audiences as they witnessed the battle between Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy fighting for this year's title.
And the atmosphere could be felt beyond the auditorium, as the event served a great boost to the hospitality sector across the city.
Sheffield s popular cafe Marmadukes, which is located right across the Crucible Theatre, said business has picked up steadily since the reopening of outdoor dining.
General Manager Matthew Andrews said: "It's been brilliant. It's been great to know our seats and tables outside are filled up and see that everything is slowly returning to normal.
"(The event) has been great for Sheffield...it's exciting and it's been a great boost for everything to start and come back up, really.
"I think it's a shining light at the end of the tunnel. With the full capacity at the Crucible, it is indeed a good confidence boost for everybody that the end is in sight."
He said despite the damp weather, customers were willing to sit under their big umbrellas outside their premises to enjoy their meals and drinks.
"It's a little bit soggy, but spirits are high even though the weather is a bit damp out there."
Snooker enthusiasts have also brought back fond memories of going to the Crucible to witness the world's sporting event.
Twitter user @Skylineowl said: "I went in 1980, saw David Taylor vs the Grinder Cliff Thornburn. Tough drab game, could hardly breathe.
"Good it's in Sheffield, good for the city centre and hospitality industry."
Another user Bryan Ibbotson or @bryibbo agreed: "Should never be held anywhere else."
The Betred-sponsored snooker championships have also announced that they will be back to the city next year and fans are urged to get their tickets beginning Monday (May 3) as they are expected to be gone within days.