The Masters will end its long association with Wembley when it moves across London to Alexendra Palace next year.

The Masters was staged at Wembley Conference Centre for 28 years before the building was closed in 2006.

Wembley Arena then took over hosting duties and although it was the stage for some great snooker, it was never felt to be as atmospheric as the old Conference Centre.

The move also suits the sponsors, Ladbrokes, who are also sponsoring the PDC World Darts Championship staged at Alexndra Palace a few days before the start of the Masters.

I find it hard to be nostalgic about Wembley Arena but I think it's right to keep the game's premier invitation tournament in London.

Another tournament on the move is the UK Championship, which transfers from Telford back to the Barbican Centre in York.

This building closed in 2007 but has re-opened and World Snooker have decided to re-establish it as the UK's home.

York is a lovely place, particularly just before Christmas. There is more going on there than in Telford.

However, the fanbase will have to be built up again after a five year absence.


Betty Logan said...

The Brabican has the university on the doorstep, which means a more youthful audience than you generally get, which is good for the image of the game. The turnout at Telford was woeful so it's a smart move. Just hope the new Barbican is better than the old one, because it was a very noisy venue from what I recall. Wished it had gone back to Preston Guild Hall, but my guess is they want somewhere a bit more glamorous than Preston.

Anonymous said...

Sod the Snooker fans in the Midlands then. Having the two top championships in the same county is hardly an attempt to spread the appeal of Snooker is it?


Hi David. Very sad news. In my view, wembley is the spiriyual home of The Masters. It was indeed, at the confrace centre from 1979, and last there in 2006. Wembley Arena from 2007-2011. aA lot of great memories there. On a Psitive Note, however, more great memories, will follow, I am sure. Sad to leave Wembley though.

Steve K said...

I like the move to Alexandra Palace, always looks like a nice venue when the Darts is hosted there.

Not sure about this move to York though. That part of the country already has the World Championship and getting to York from places like London and the South Coast can be a bit of a struggle.

Wills said...

Great to see York back on the snooker map, let's just hope it don't snow like it did last December, main reason why Betty probably the attendance wasn't that brilliant, if it was held in York last year, I wouldn't have been surprised if the tournament would have been postponed, but let's not dwell on that :)

In terms of moving the masters away from Wembley, I agree it's pretty sad to see the event more from there, growing up with it being held either at CC or the Arena, but I think it's good to see snooker move towards bigger venues, so I can see why Barry Hearn has made decision, given the success of the PDC darts, will be interesting to see how players adapt,

I also hope Mr Hearn re/introduces more ranking events like the British Open, Scottish Open etc and choose venues that are more spread out through the UK

But already the masters & uk are two tournaments I'm certainly looking forward to next season

wild said...

dave hendon

why should uk quals be best of 17? 20 years ago they were best of 11. 10 years ago they were best of 9

Adds pointless days to qualifiers

ive not got twitter and judging by that reply twitter is for twits.

so you are sugesting we take snooker back to the 70s then ???

ok lets do that ill be looking forward to best of 49 frames World Final next year..

Anonymous said...

No wembley and most likely no Hendry masters is going to be a bit different next season.

Anonymous said...

There was no atmosphere in Telford, the crowds just didn't turn up. I too would rather the UK went back to Preston(still don't get why it left), but hopefully the same crowds that go to the Crucible will go to York.
As for the Masters, it was probably time for it to leave Wembley, but Alexandra Palace Masters just doesn't have quite the same ring.

jamie brannon said...

Didn't go to Telford last year but the other three years I went and there was a fantastic atmosphere for the 2008 final.

However in the early rounds it was just Ronnie pulling a crowd, although this seemed a similar scenario in York.

I'm sure it is a lovely place and a cracking venue but too hold the two biggest tournaments in the same county is farcical.

If we don't get a round of Premier League there will be no snooker in the Midland's.

As for the Masters, wel it's ashame the tie with Wembley is broken but Dave is right the Wembley Arena never had the aura of the Conference Centre, so it lessens any disappointment.

Anonymous said...

farcical my bottom jamie

if a place doesnt get crowds, move it.

i am from scotland
we dont always get crowds and when we dont and a tournament moves i dont say, we have hendry, higgins, maguire, dott etc all in the top blah blah and deserve a tournament.

sometimes you just rattle on probably just to see your name there....other times its just to mention ronnie when theres no need to. again.

Anonymous said...

Telford had no atmosphere

Anonymous said...

Aren't South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire two separate counties? Makes a nice change us up north getting catered, so stop moaning!

Mighty Mattu said...

the midlands is a hotbed for snooker, in particular sedgley and dudley, where ronnie was born. the fans in the midlands love snooker and it was great for once to have a tournament in the midlands. what message does this send out, this was a bad decision. I have been to all the finals in Telford and the atmosphere was good.

this has let down fans in the midlands and Dave H you of all comentators should know this.

Anonymous said...

York - lovely place, but it's even more of a trek up the motorway than Sheffield! Can we not have a tournament in the south?

Anonymous said...

1221, the masters is in the south.

think before you type!

jamie brannon said...

The Barbican Centre was hardly packing them in.

Not saying Telford should have kept it or even the Midlands, but disagree with the same county staging the two biggest tournaments.

This is nothing against York, in fact may even go.

Anonymous said...

Why do they keep moving these events around? The location becomes an icon of the competition i.e. the sheffield crucible. Tipofthecue.com - snooker cues, pool cues