What this year’s World Snooker Championship means to Sheffield

This year’s World Snooker Championship was one of the best for Sheffield – and that’s not just down to the excitement on the baize.

By The Star Newsroom
Tuesday, 07 May, 2019, 09:33

Judd Trump dismantled John Higgins 18-9 to claim his maiden World Championship title in one of the most breathtaking finals ever witnessed at The Crucible.

In a classic contest, the two shared a record 11 centuries and brought up the 100th ton of the tournament.

Richard Eyre, head Of city Centre management at Sheffield Council. Picture: Chris Etchells

Trump collects £500,000 in prize money, making him the first player in history to amass more than £1m in a single season.

And Richard Eyre, of Sheffield Council, said he wouldn’t be alone in counting the coffers from the tournament.

Mr Eyre, head of city centre at the council, said: “From our point of view, there is a real buzz around the city centre and Tudor Square looks fantastic.

“I think from a spectating point of view, it’s one of the biggest tournaments we’ve had. It’s certainly one of the biggest I have seen and I’ve been involved in it for 15 years.”

Sheffield has been showcased to more than 1.6 billion homes around the globe as the championship continues.

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The council said the competition would boost the city’s economy by around £3 million but Mr Eyre said it was about much more than the economical boost.

He said: “I think the thing about the snooker is that every single year the Winter Garden is packed and people can get really close to those involved.

“You don’t get that with other sports and there's a real buzz around the Crucible when it’s on.”

The tournament ran for 17 days and saw favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan crash out to amateur James Cahill in the first round and fellow qualifier Gary Wilson reach the semi-finals.

Mr Eyre said experts at Sheffield Hallam University would be carrying out a report on the economic impact of the tournament over the next few months.

The Crucible has become known as the ‘home of snooker’ and the sport's flagship tournament has been hosted at the 980-seat venue since 1977.

A commitment to keep the competition at its historic home until at least 2027 was signed in 2017.