Prize money for next year’s Betway UK Championship at the York Barbican will break the £1m barrier.
The winner of tomorrow’s final will pocket £170,000, but next year that will jump to £200,000, as total prize money rises from £850,000 to £1m.
It means the two most lucrative snooker tournaments will be staged in Yorkshire in 2019, with only the World Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre offering more prize money at £2,231,000.
The only other snooker tournament to include a seven-figure prize pot is the £1m offered at the China Open.
The UK Championship is one of snooker’s Triple Crown events alongside the World Championship and the Masters, with a rich history dating back to 1977.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is the favourite to claim a record seventh UK title tomorrow, following yesterday’s 6-1 quarter-final win over Martin O’Donnell, but tickets for next year’s tournament in York will go on sale before the final cues off.
The 2019 event will run from November 26 to December 8 at the Barbican – where it has been staged every year since 2011 – and tickets go on sale on Sunday morning at 9am.
Record ticket sales this year – up nearly 20 per cent on 2017 – mean World Snooker boss Barry Hearn is committed to staging the UK Championship in York, where it has a one-year rolling contract.
Many sessions this year sold out months in advance,
A spokesman for World Snooker said: “The enthusiasm of local fans for snooker in York has reached unprecedented levels which is fantastic to see. All of our players love coming to York every year and the Barbican is a brilliant venue for one of our biggest tournaments.
“The message to fans is very clear – you must be ready to book from 10am on Sunday to make sure of your tickets for next year, because many sessions including the final will sell out rapidly.”
O’Sullivan faces Leicester’s Tom Ford in today’s first semi-final after beating Joe Perry 6-2.
In tonight’s second semi-final, Stuart Bingham – who last night beat Kyren Wilson 6-1 – plays Mark Allen, who eased past Stephen Maguire 6-1.
For ticket details go to www.worldsnooker.com/tickets or by calling 0844 854 2757.
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