UK Snooker Championship to go ahead – but not in York

Ronnie O'Sullivan prepares for another extraordinary shot at the York Barbican. Photograph: YouTube
4 Nov 2020 @ 3.32 pm
| Sport

One of the most prestigious events in York’s sporting calendar will not take place in the city this year.

The Betway UK Snooker Championship is to go ahead, but 135 miles from the city.

Instead of playing in front of sell-out crowds at the York Barbican, the whole event will be staged behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.

The UK Snooker Championship Trophy at York Barbican. Photograph: Zac Goodwin / PA Wire

One of the sport’s most prestigious events, and part of the Triple Crown series, the tournament has been staged at York Barbican since 2011.

The qualifying rounds were always due to be held at Milton Keynes, with the televised championship staged at the Barbican.

However, all games will now be staged at the Marshall Arena, running from 23 November to 6 December.

The arena has staged a series of events this year in an established Covid-secure bubble, which includes a requirement that players either stay in the on-site hotel, or travel directly from home.

Fans who had bought tickets will have their tickets automatically transferred to next year’s event and are advised to contact their point of purchase if they have any questions.

‘We will be back’

Chairman of the World Snooker Tour Barry Hearn said: “We are disappointed not to be going to York Barbican for the Betway UK Championship this year because it is a fantastic venue in a wonderful city.

“The people of York can rest assured that we fully intend to be back in York next year and in fact, we have already agreed dates for 2021 and 2022 with the venue.

“In the circumstances we face today, our crucial objective is to keep our events going, provide competitive action and prize money for our players, and top-class sport for the many millions of television viewers around the world who are in need of inspiration.

“We look forward to working with all our partners on delivering a tournament of the highest quality.”