Welsh Open in Newport to last longer
7:01pm Tuesday 8th October 2013 in Sport
THE Welsh Open will be four days longer when it returns to the Newport Centre next year.
The best snooker players on the planet will head to the city for the £300,000 tournament from Wednesday, February 19 to Sunday, March 2.
This season, World Snooker has introduced a new format for ranking events with all 128 players starting in the same round.
Established stars like Ronnie O'Sullivan, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Mark Selby, home favourite Mark Williams and defending champion Stephen Maguire will all be eligible to enter the event and could face against up-and-coming rookies in the first round.
This means that the tournament is four days longer than usual and fans will have the chance to see many more players in action, with a multi-table layout at the Newport Centre in the early stages.
A spokesman for World Snooker said: "These are exciting times for our sport as we make revolutionary changes to the format of ranking events.
"Above all, it's fantastic news for the fans as we'll be bringing 128 of the world's leading players to Newport, including legends of the baize and rising stars.
"We know how much support there is for snooker in the Newport area and fans will have the chance to see many more matches over a longer event. And the value for money of tickets is astonishing, especially when compared to other leading sports."
Last year's final was a gripping battle as Maguire edged out Stuart Bingham 9-8 in a dramatic deciding frame.
Total prize money for the event has been increased from £250,000 to £300,000, with the winner to receive £60,000 instead of £50,000.
Television coverage will start in the second week so the only way to see the action in the early stages is live.
Tickets are on sale now with half-price adult session tickets for £5 to see the action between Monday, February 24 and Thursday, February 27.
Passport tickets for three individual sessions between Wednesday, February 19 and Friday, February 28 for £21.
For full details call 01633 656 757 or visit www.newport.gov.uk/theriverfront
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