Ponds Forge centre in Sheffield is to host the qualifying rounds of snooker’s biggest tournament, the World Championship, for the first time, next year (April 8-16).
Players seeded outside the top 16 will be battling for places in the final stages at the Crucible.
Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Ken Doherty and rising stars like Jack Lisowksi and Michael White are likely to be among those striving for a spot. The 16 qualifiers will then be drawn at random against the top 16 seeds.
A World Snooker spokesman said: “It’s just a stone’s throw from the Crucible so the players and fans will have a keen sense of what is at stake. Sheffield has been an outstanding location for staging our qualifiers in recent years. It’s a popular city among the players, as well as the fans.”
“Our calendar is so packed this season that we have moved the qualifiers closer to the main event, so a player could win his final round match on April 16 and be playing at the Crucible on the 19th. This will only add to the drama and intensity.
“Tickets details will be announced in due course and hopefully fans will take the chance to see the qualifying rounds unfold.”
The seeding cut off to determine the top 16 for the World Championship is after the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals, which finishes on March 23. The draw and format of play for the qualifiers will be available shortly after this date.