The World Snooker Championship has returned to Sheffield theatre- The Crucible for the 45th time.
The tournament has been chosen by the Government for their Events Research Programme as one of the pilot events which spectators can attend.
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure said: “It’s great to see snooker back at The Crucible even if restrictions are still in place. I wish everyone the best of luck and hope it goes well.”
Sheffield City Council manages the contract with World Snooker to ensure it adds value to the city. Richard Eyre, Interim Director of Operational Services at Sheffield City Council leads this with his team.
Mr. Eyre described the excited response from snooker fans and reported that people are still nervous after lockdown but that they are confident it will be a successful pilot event.
He said: “World Snooker has been in the city since the 1970s. Like Wembley is for football, The Crucible is the home of Snooker and known throughout the world. It is the pinnacle event for Snooker on their annual calendar.
“It’s the home of snooker worldwide and gets the brand of Sheffield into all corners of the world.”
Those visiting The Crucible are encouraged to undertake a personal risk assessment before they get to the venue.
This involves attendees having a coronavirus test before and then up to 10 days after the event. They must also wear face coverings and stay socially distanced.
Sheffield City Council has said that the venue is fully covid secure in compliance with the highest standards as set by the central government, with appropriate measures in place to prevent the risks of Covid-19 transmission.
Mr Eyre described how beneficial the event returning to The Crucible is on Sheffield’s economy. He said: “In normal times it has a huge impact on our economy. This is through overnight stays and money spent by visitors, players, and teams delivering the event.
“The added value on the economy of Sheffield being talked about across the world is huge. These benefits include building investment confidence, attracting international students and spreading the word that Sheffield is a vibrant place to live, work, visit and invest.”
The outcomes following the events will be reported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport who are leading the evaluation on how the pilot events are managed and responded to.