Allen79 wrote:Got my tickets for all day Tuesday and Wednesday, I think if I lived in London I would be there all week as it's such a great event!
The problem for me is the venue.
Since The Conference Centre, they've struggled to find a decent venue for it. Wembley Arena was okay, but was about five time too large for the event. If you booked Annual Leave, and went when most people were at work, there'd only be two or three hundred people in a venue meant for thousands. The famous 'Wembley atmosphere' was mostly fictitious. Sure, you'd get people getting rowdy when Ronnie or Jimmy played, but that was about it. Walking around the venue afterwards, it felt empty even when there were people milling around. Compare that to The Crucible where the whole of Sheffield is all about the snooker, it was a disgrace really. The Arena didn't seem to come alive somehow, let alone the town around it. It had a 'just another show at Wembley' feel.
The Ally Pally is better in some way, but still not great. I may be biased as it makes my journey slightly more complicated, but I find the Ally Pally a bit too out of the way. It's a bus ride from the Palace just to the main entrance of the grounds. You can't nip out to McDonalds between matches, and if you want a pint you have to have it in the arena at cost, because it's a bus ride anywhere else. It isn't as cavernous as Wembley, but somehow the atmosphere that they're supposed to have at the darts isn't quite there. It gets busier than at Wembley even in the week, but it very much feels like Barry Hearn has it there because it works for the darts. I half suspect he gets a frequent use discount.
It's alright, but has far too much of an in the middle of nowhere feel, and the snooker fans there don't feel the same level of excitement for being there that they do for other tournaments somehow.
Sorry, that was a bit of an essay.