Marshall Arena to Stage Five Snooker Tournaments

The venue in Milton Keynes previously hosted the Championship League and Tour Championship in June.

The first five snooker tournaments of the the 2020/21 snooker season will be held at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

Following an announcement made by the World Snooker Tour on Friday, every event until the end of November will be staged in the same place.

The new campaign is set to get under way next month with the first stage of the Championship League, which is to carry ranking points for the first time.

Previously always an invitational competition, a special Championship League was put on earlier this summer and was among the first sporting events to be played after the lifting of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the UK.

Belgium’s Luca Brecel emerged as the champion, and Milton Keynes subsequently entertained the top eight players on the 2019/20 one-year rankings list for the prestigious Tour Championship that concluded the lucrative Coral Series.

As it boasts on-site accommodation, the Marshall Arena is considered a perfect venue to ensure that snooker tournaments can go ahead without any major hiccups during what is an unpredictable year as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In total, there will be almost three weeks of Championship League action during the first couple of months of the 2020/21 term.

Among the other snooker tournaments set to take place are the European Masters which moves from Austria and the Northern Ireland Open that is generally hosted in Belfast.

The English Open and the Champion of Champions will also be shifted, in addition to the German Masters qualifiers.

WST said: “We are delighted to continue working with the staff at the Marshall Arena, who were a tremendous help staging last season’s Championship League and Tour Championship under trying circumstances, due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Every endeavour has been taken to minimise the risk of tournaments being postponed over the coming months.

“Having already successfully held tournaments at the Marshall Arena, we have demonstrated the ability to proceed in a safe manner under lockdown conditions.

“We clearly hope that there will be no need to return to lockdown, at local or national level, but holding these events in Milton Keynes gives us the best possible chance to ensure they are delivered to our broadcasters and partners, as well players and fans.”

It is hoped that the UK Championship at the Barbican Centre in York will be the first event to be staged at its regular home next season.

Although a limited number of fans were allowed into the Crucible Theatre to watch the climax of the recent World Championship won by Ronnie O’Sullivan, it is not yet known whether supporters will be able to attend the opening events of the new campaign.

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