Celtic Manor Resort hosts the BetVictor Welsh Open from Snooker
The Celtic Manor Resort will host the BetVictor Welsh Open of Snooker for the first time next month.
The world rankings will take place from February 15 to 21. 128 of the world's best players compete for the Ray Reardon Trophy.
Broadcast by BBC Wales, Eurosport, CCTV5 and various other networks, the tournament has a television audience of hundreds of millions worldwide.
Shaun Murphy will defend the title against a field of top snooker stars. The draw and format will be announced in due course.
As of June 2020, WST has been hosting most of the tournaments at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, where strict Covid-19 regulations can be met. The only exception was the World Cup, which was held in Sheffield.
WST firmly believes that the Celtic Manor, which successfully hosted the Celtic Classic and ISPS HANDA Wales Open tournaments on the European Tour behind closed doors with Covid-safe protocols in August 2020, adhered to the same strict Covid-19 regulations can be.
The resort near Newport in South Wales also hosts the 2010 Ryder Cup and is now hosting a professional snooker event for the first time.
Barry Hearn OBE, Chairman of WST, said, “We are very excited to be hosting this grand tournament for the first time at the Celtic Manor. This event has such a rich history in Wales and together with our partners at BBC Wales and Eurosport we were determined to keep it there.
“To host events of this magnitude, we need to ensure that the venue has the right facilities and is large enough to welcome 128 players and everyone working on the event, while maintaining social distance, hygiene, isolation and all other Covid- to watch. 19 regulations that are essential for our events.
“We have no doubt that Celtic Manor meets all of these criteria. It's a fantastic venue and players will love it. Unfortunately fans can't come to watch, but it will be seven days of tremendous entertainment for television viewers around the world. "
Ian Edwards, Chief Executive of Celtic Manor Resort, said: “We are very excited to be hosting a professional snooker tournament for the first time. It's a shame fans can't attend, especially since South Wales is such a hotbed for snooker, but we all recognize public health priorities at this point and will use our experience over the past 12 months to deliver the safest environment for the players and officials. "
The BetVictor Welsh Open is the fifth event in the BetVictor European Series. After six events, the head of the Order of Merit introduces a bonus of £ 150,000. Mark Selby is currently the front runner, but only two of the six events have been played so far.
It is also the fourth and final Home Nations event of the season after the English Open, Northern Ireland Open, and Scottish Open.