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New World Snooker Championship dates after talks with BBC, Eurosport

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The World Snooker Championship has been rescheduled to run from July 31 to August 16 after discussions with stakeholders, including broadcast rights-holders the BBC and Eurosport.

The sport’s marquee event had been due to run from April 18 to May 4 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield but was postponed because of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organiser World Snooker Tour announced today (Wednesday) that, following “discussions with key stakeholders including Sheffield City Council, the BBC, Eurosport and Sheffield Theatres, new dates for the World Snooker Championship have been agreed”.

WST said that it is its preference to stage the event with a full crowd at the Crucible, which seats an audience of just under 1,000 spectators.

Should that not be possible, the WST is to consider playing the event with a reduced crowd, behind closed doors or, should government advice suggest, postponing the event again.

Barry Hearn, WST chairman, said: “The world is going through a very challenging period but live sport can be a massive inspiration for the public and can boost morale. This gives fans of top-class sport something on their calendar to look ahead to and enjoy for 17 days.

“It is crucial for our 128 tour players to know that we are doing everything we can to get our circuit going again as soon as it is considered safe to do so by the government. The players are self-employed and they need opportunities to earn, while we keep the health and safety of everyone involved in an event of this scale as a priority.

“In recent weeks we have had intricate negotiations with our key broadcasters including the BBC and Eurosport as well as the Crucible itself and Sheffield City Council. I would like to express my gratitude to all of them as we have progressed to a solution.”

Tickets for the World Championship final stages will be automatically transferred to the new dates. The refunds policy is to be announced separately.