The Masters at Alexandra Palace is set to welcome fans back to snooker

Snooker is set to return to Alexandra Palace (Pic: World Snooker Tour)

Snooker is set to return to Alexandra Palace (Pic: World Snooker Tour) - Credit: Archant

Snooker fans are set to return to Alexandra Palace for the sport’s biggest invitation event, The Masters, next month, writes Ziad Chaudry.

Since the pandemic began, snooker have been forced to watch their favourite cue masters on their TV, computer and laptop screens, but now the venue is set to welcome them back.

It is hoped that up to 1,000 fans will be able to attend each session. World Snooker Tour is in regular contact with the government on the detail of regional restrictions and tickets holders will be kept informed by email.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome our fabulous fans back to live snooker events,” said World Snooker Tour and Matchroom Sport supremo Barry Hearn.

“We are reliant on government advice but we will do everything in our powers to make this a reality.

“In 2020 we will stage a total of 20 events on the World Snooker Tour which is an incredible achievement in the circumstances. We have maintained prize money levels for the players, and given our millions of fans around the globe an abundance of live snooker to watch on television. In August at the World Championship we were extremely proud to be the first post-lockdown UK indoor sporting event to host fans.

“Since then our events have been behind closed doors and we have missed the amazing atmosphere which only our dedicated fans can generate. It is wonderful news for the players that they will soon be able to feel the buzz around them when they walk into an arena.

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“The Masters in London is such a special event and I’m sure anyone who has the opportunity to be one of the lucky few in the crowd will grasp that chance. The event is renowned for the enthusiasm of the fans and even with a reduced audience I have no doubt it will be a sensational occasion.”

Alexandra Palace has hosted the Masters since 2011 and is widely recognised as one of snooker’s greatest arenas. Only the elite top 16 players will contest the tournament which runs from January 10 to 17.

Defending champion Stuart Bingham, world number one Judd Trump, world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Ding Junhui, Kyren Wilson, Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy are just some of the top names who will be appearing at Ally Pally.