World Snooker Championship: Sheffield Council responds over plan to replace Crucible with new 3,000-seat venue

Sheffield Council has responded to proposals to knock down the existing Crucible theatre and build a bigger one to host the World Snooker Championship.

By Robert Cumber
Friday, 13th May 2022, 1:43 pm

World Snooker Tour president Barry Hearn this month described how he wants the 980-capacity theatre to be demolished and replaced with a new 3,000-seat Crucible to match the demand for tickets from fans.

He claimed the ambitious move would help keep the sport in its spiritual home of Sheffield for another 30 years beyond 2027, when the current deal expires.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Sheffield City Council’s executive member for development, culture and regeneration, said: “It goes without saying that Sheffield and the World Snooker Championship go hand in hand.

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Sheffield Council has met to discuss proposals by World Snooker Tour president Barry Hearn to demolish the Crucible and replace it with a new 3,000-seat venue to host the World Snooker Championship

“Between the council, Sheffield Theatres and World Snooker, we all have a shared ambition to secure the tournament's long term future in Sheffield. The current agreement gives us at least another five years but we want this love story to continue for generations to come.

“We met last week to discuss our collective commitment to the WST tournament and to work together to consider options for the venue as part of the city growth plans.

“World Snooker discussed a 30-year investment plan and commitment to the city, including leisure, accommodation and hospitality opportunities. This gives us much to think about in line with our goal to continue to attract and host more international tournaments and events.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, executive member for development, culture and regeneration at Sheffield City Council, says he wants the city's snooker 'love story' to continue for 'generations to come'

“A performance venue in the city would support our existing offer and our future international ambitions for events, culture and sport in Sheffield.

“We're already recognised as a city of sport and for delivering world class events, hosting three major international tournaments this year alone, World Snooker, the UEFA Women's EURO and the Rugby League World Cup.

“Events like this put Sheffield on the world's stage and we are keen to build on our success by looking at all proposals that will seal our status as a world renowned event city!”

Mr Hearn revealed his proposals after a number of players, including the pre-tournament favourite Neil Robertson, had spoken of their dissatisfaction with the Crucible as the venue for the sport’s flagship event, claiming it was too small and lacked atmosphere.