Crawley will welcome the best snooker players in the world later this year when the English Open comes to the town.
Taking place at K2 Crawley from October 15th to 21st, it will be the first world ranking event ever staged in the West Sussex town.
The English Open is the first of the 2018/19 season’s Home Nations events, to be followed by tournaments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It brings together 128 of the world’s top stars, competing in a flat draw with all players needing to win seven matches to take the Steve Davis Trophy.
Ronnie O’Sullivan won the title last year in Barnsley by thrashing Kyren Wilson 9-2 in the final.
Once again there will be a £1 million bonus on offer to any player who can win all four Home Nations events over the 2018/19 season. The Home Nations series receives extensive live television coverage from Eurosport and Quest.
K2 Crawley staged the qualifying rounds of the Australian Open in 2015 and will now host the final stages of a tournament for the first time.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “This is fantastic news for the people of Crawley and the surrounding area as they will have the chance to watch the best players on the planet live in action. Having staged qualifiers at K2 Crawley before we know it is an excellent venue and I hope to see the place packed out with fans.
“The English Open is the first tournament to be staged on UK soil next season and what a fantastic event it will be, with 128 top stars battling for glory. Ronnie O’Sullivan’s performance in the final last year was arguably the best of the 2017/18 season as he had a 98 per cent pot success rate. And Ronnie definitely had his eyes on the £1 million bonus until he lost in the third round of the Northern Ireland Open.
“We’re really looking forward to working with the team in Crawley on staging another top class event. It’s always a pleasure to bring a big tournament to a new location and once tickets are on sale they will be selling fast.”
Jonathon Hodgson, Freedom Leisure Centre Manager, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this world class event at K2 Crawley where we pride ourselves on our quality facilities, and by hosting this prestigious competition we are not only putting the leisure centre on a worldwide stage but Crawley too.
“At Freedom Leisure our focus is on supporting increased participation in sport and for Crawley Borough Council an active Crawley is very important. High profile sporting events such as these serve to inspire people and leave lasting legacies. We hope that local families with older children will take the opportunity to spectate – as who knows Crawley may even have the next snooker world champion.”
Details of how to buy tickets will be released soon.