World Championship Crowd Allowed in Crucible

The blue-riband tournament takes place during July and August after being postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

There will be a World Championship crowd at the Crucible Theatre this year after the UK government announced the event among its new pilot scheme for the return of spectators.

Along with other upcoming sporting competitions in horse racing and cricket, snooker will be used as a test for the reopening of live sport to the public.

Since the lockdown has been lifted in the country, sport has made its return but totally behind closed doors.

Snooker was one of the first to get itself back on the calendar, staging both the Championship League and the Tour Championship inside an empty Marshall Arena in June.

Now, it seems certain that there will be fans inside the Crucible when reigning champion Judd Trump finally launches the 2020 edition on July 31st.

The famous arena in Sheffield houses just under 1,000 people, but this year’s World Championship crowd will be a great deal smaller due to social distancing measures.

Still, it’s another major coup for the World Snooker Tour and WPBSA, who will be thankful that they have the opportunity to welcome people inside the doors.

It has not yet been announced just how many supporters will be permitted to enter the venue, or how the guidelines will be implemented during the 17-day bonanza.

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said: “For months millions of us have felt the void of being unable to go to the match to support our team or attend a top-class sporting event.”

“So I am pleased that we are now able to move forward with a plan to help venues safely reopen their doors to fans.

“I recognise that not every sport, team or club has the benefit of huge commercial revenue, and it is often their dedicated fans that are the lifeblood which helps keep them going. By working closely with sports and medical experts, these pilots will help ensure the safe return of fans to stadia.

“Although it will remain some time before venues are full to capacity, this is a major step in the right direction for the resumption of live spectator sport across the country.”

Earlier this week, five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan threatened to withdraw from the tournament if a World Championship crowd was announced.

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