The Crucible has paid homage to the World Snooker Championship, a professional and one of the most prestigious snooker tournaments, since 1977. And the inception of the Championship at the Crucible could not have had a better fairy tale. After hosting the World Championship at a series of venues not fit for the purpose in the 1970s, Mike Watterson sought a new platform.
After visiting a theatre in Sheffield and his wife, Carole Watterson, pointed out that she might have found her husband a new venue. The relatively new theatre had ample space to house two tables and TV production equipment, marking the start of the Crucible era.
From the early days, the Crucible was a welcoming place with comfortable seats allowing fans to glimpse the tables from whichever angle. The spectators were also close to the players to ramp up the atmosphere, elevating the pressure.
Over the years, the competition has witnessed reputable players such as Judd Trump, Ronnie O’ Sullivan, Alan ‘Angles’ McManus and Neil Robertson gracing the iconic Crucible. Like other sports globally, the thrill of watching a snooker tournament can be heightened if punters place a stake.
You can find different and competitive odds at trusted Irish betting sites that may suit you. So, feel free to engage in some betting to spice up any snooker tournament and win some decent cash while at it. The elephant in the room is whether the World Championship should stay at the Crucible? What does the future hold for a tournament that is slowly winning over peers worldwide?
Let’s not forget since ’77, the intimate surroundings of the Crucible have consistently produced epic moments. For instance, the 1981 final, where Steve Davis got the first of his six world final triumphs against Doug Mountjoy, which even forced Barry Hearn to embrace him.
For starters, the event gets a lot of support from the Sheffield City Council. When the World Snooker Tour hires the venue from the local authority, it isn’t charged a dime, meaning all ticket sales are a profit. There’s the idea of a bigger platform to accommodate a larger audience. Imagine the nightmare the referee will have to endure trying to keep order in a 5,000 to 6,000 strong crowd.
Still, ticket sales will peek at huge venues, but bettors might shy away from the bog-standard first-round matches. With competitive sports jostling for mainstream viewing, snooker uniquely stands out.
Unlike sports such as cricket, football or golf, it is freely available to the people since they know when to expect it, where it is and the timing. On streaming services such as Amazon Prime, expect to pay more for premium content.
The Crucible is what you may term as ‘imperfectly perfect.’ Sure, the cramped theatre could do well with an additional one or two thousand seats, even five thousand and still not meet the World Championship demand.
Try picturing how many fans can comfortably watch a snooker match. Sitting in the last row with over 2,000 diehard fans is overly hopeful that people will gather around a 3.6m by 1.8m table without needing binoculars to catch the action.
One can trace Crucible’s trail from a working men’s club to the current globally-televised tournament. With the World Snooker Tournament hosting the competition at the Crucible till 2027, there’s still time before any changes or reviews come up. Word in the streets is that there’ll be a big row if the venue changes from Sheffield.