Calls for more cash for Wales Open Snooker in Newport

First published in News

THERE have been calls for the sponsorship of the Wales Open Snooker to be renewed after it lapsed this year – with the tournament set to leave the city.

World Snooker’s chairman Barry Hearn said earlier this year that the current Wales Open snooker tournament – currently taking place at Newport Centre – will be the last in the city.

Mr Hearn had said the event is now more costly to stage and there would be more commercial opportunities if it was taken to the capital.

But at full council on Tuesday, Cllr Matthew Evans called for £20,000 to be spent on continuing to sponsor the event.

The previous Tory/Lib Dem administration had decided, back in 2011, to spend £60,000 on covering a shortfall in sponsorship, a deal that ended this year.

“The income generated, the increased footfall, and assistance for local hoteliers and businesses, not to mention all the free positive advertising enhance Newport’s reputation as a sporting city,” he said.

Cllr Ed Townsend, the only Liberal Democrat on the authority, said he found the reduction in spending on the event “regrettable”.

But during the debate Labour council leader Bob Bright said the tournament had been “in and out” and “blowing hot and cold.”

“They have been elsewhere and comeback,” he said, saying they wouldn’t give them £20,000.

A spokesman for World Snooker said: "We have staged the Welsh Open in Newport every year since 2005 and we are grateful for the support we have received from Newport City Council, as well as the support from local fans.

“Local support is obviously important to the success of any major event, however our sport is growing and with this our requirements change. As a consequence we have had to look at alternative locations for the Welsh Open.”

Comments (2)

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9:41am Thu 27 Feb 14

fedupjon says...

I agree with the stance being taken by Newport Council on this occasion.
I remember supporting the event for many years before the governing body decided to transfer the event to Cardiff for improved facilities, attendances and increased commercial opportunities. However it returned to newport because it proved to be a disasterous move to cardiff.
It is the responsibility of the governing body in snooker to identify the appropriate sponsorship and not Newport Council.
My view is to tell Barry Hearn to go the Cardiff if he wants to see his circus perform in front of very small crowds.
I agree with the stance being taken by Newport Council on this occasion. I remember supporting the event for many years before the governing body decided to transfer the event to Cardiff for improved facilities, attendances and increased commercial opportunities. However it returned to newport because it proved to be a disasterous move to cardiff. It is the responsibility of the governing body in snooker to identify the appropriate sponsorship and not Newport Council. My view is to tell Barry Hearn to go the Cardiff if he wants to see his circus perform in front of very small crowds. fedupjon
  • Score: 10

1:20pm Thu 27 Feb 14

westlifefan says...

i think if the welsh open moves to cardiff , it will lose ALOT of the supporters especially all the newport supporters as it means they will have to travell . where as for the last 9 yrs its been on there doorstep .
i think if the welsh open moves to cardiff , it will lose ALOT of the supporters especially all the newport supporters as it means they will have to travell . where as for the last 9 yrs its been on there doorstep . westlifefan
  • Score: 5

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