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International Competition & The Crucible Complacency

I have always been a snooker fan and enjoy tuning into the World Championships every year. The 2024 tournament is underway and goes on for 17 days. I have an even softer spot for this tournament as it’s hosted in Sheffield where I was fortunate enough to spend 4 great years at University. Our Uni campus was in the City Centre just across the road from the Crucible theatre (where the snooker is being played and has been held since 1977). There is a lot of talk about the venue being changed in the near future. Despite the history of the venue and the nostalgia  , there is no guarantee that after 45 years of holding this prestigious tournament at the Crucible will continue. The UK and notably Sheffield need to continue hosting this tournament. If they loose it , it will be a real economic blow.  Globalisation at its finest creates opportunities but of course competition. This has seen alternative venues such as Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and cities in China such as Shanghai as possible future options to host the world championships. Having lived and worked overseas for 18 years and moved around Im a fan of change, globalisation and competition. However, with this particular situation with the Crucible Theatre I think it is a pity.  In my opinion a pity due to the fact the venue has not improved or bettered itself. From the outdated facilities, to the small size of the venue , logistic flow of people. Even famous British snooker players who have participated at this venue for years feel Saudi or China option would do the competition and sport a world of good. Such snooker players are on the circuit playing in tournaments all over the world throughout the year and are the best kind to see the astonishing contrast in standards between what the Crucible now offers compared to overseas options. There have been complaints from players about the space they have at the venue, the lack of  dining facilities, parking and wait for it ..even the smell of the venue. The impression I get is one of laziness, a lack of hunger, innovation or desire to improve. As a result great cities likes Sheffield and the UK will loose opportunities to host or continue to host internationally recognised sporting events  as a result of not being interested to compete. Due to globalisation and technology, better more improved and higher valued offers will be created. Countries and cities are fighting for market share to hold prestigious events as it is great for their recognition on the global stage, great for tourism and therefore economies and much more. Globalisation creates business opportunities and this will transcend the boundaries of history and in some situation tradition. My point is, by no means is it unthinkable for the Snooker World Championships venue to be changed after 45 years when there are bigger and better offers and other groups that would do a far better job of hosting than the current. Although change and moving on can be a good thing, it is a pity that the current group haven’t tried harder to improve the venue. The situation appears to reek of complacency and lack of effort to improve. Hosting such events is no place for the status quo or keeping things the same. There is a need for continuous improvement , evaluation and then innovation. Anything less and opportunities will be lost to the competition willing to work harder and smarter and offer better value. 

Ex-pros have commented on the situation. Their opinion must be respected and I see their point of view. Many work as commentators on the circuit and have mentioned how the crucible doesn't smell and is a place of work , has an atmosphere like no other as is the holy land of snooker. It is a place of tradition and history where players come to work and compete not be pampered. Interesting to listen to old school thinking in a modern world.

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