Welsh Open To Leave Newport Centre?


More venue news this evening, as it appears as though after a decade at the Newport Centre, not to mention a further seven years dating back to 1992, the Welsh Open could well be looking for a new home following the 2014 event next month…

Once one of the biggest tournaments on the snooker calendar, the reputation of the Welsh Open has deteriorated over the past decade, to such a degree that the event has almost become something of a poor relation on the professional circuit.

The reasons for this are varied, certainly the loss of title sponsor Regal following the ban on tobacco advertising did not help, as demonstrated by the top prize of £82,500 in their last year of sponsorship in 2003, dropping to just £30,000 by 2011.

It would appear however, that Barry Hearn wants to try and restore the tournament to its former glory and that will begin with a change of venue for the event next season, potentially moving back to Cardiff, where it was last staged in 2004.

Barry is quoted at Walesonline as saying:

“I would love to see it in Cardiff and I have instructed our people to have discussions with various venues in Cardiff.

“I am not criticising Newport. Please don’t misunderstand that, we have been there for many years.

“It’s time to upgrade the Welsh Open into the major event, I believe, it can be.”

A shame for those in Newport, but to an outsider at least, a switch to Cardiff would appear to be a logical move going forward, assuming that a suitable venue can be found.

For any local readers, where would you suggest?