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The Motorpoint Arena

Postby SnookerFan

Okay, so I buckled.

I wasn't going to buy tickets because they were more expensive in Cardiff, and accommodation was twice the price. I was only going to Newport because everything, tickets included, were so ridiculously cheap. Or at least that's what I told myself. I finally gave in to temptation, and am going up the Saturday and Sunday to watch some live snooker. :hatoff:

I vaguely remember somebody, Wild I think, dissing the Motorpoint Arena. What's it like? I assume there's some kind of food available. Should I wish to dart out between sessions and have something quick to eat, is this possible? I don't mind if it's just a burger or some such shoved down my mouth, it doesn't have to be fancy. What are the odds that I'll be able to get a pint between sessions?

Seems like a big place. Will this mean seats are possibly no good? I wonder if it being big will make any difference to the atmosphere. Wembley Arena was huge, but always felt half empty and the staff were rubbish. The atmosphere they mentioned on the BBC was entirely fictitious, because all the were basing it on was how loud people cheered Ronnie and Jimmy. The Newport Center, though small and in a swimming baths felt more alive. And had a quirky feel about it, partly because it was in a swimming baths.

Anybody ever been? Discuss.

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby Wildey

Ive Been to the Motorpoint Arena (formerly CIA) and it was rubbish Worst Venue ive ever been to.

I Would be interested to hear your opinion on the place.

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby SnookerFan

Wildey wrote:Ive Been to the Motorpoint Arena (formerly CIA) and it was rubbish Worst Venue ive ever been to.

I Would be interested to hear your opinion on the place.


I thought it was you who said they hated it. <laugh>

I was going to give it a miss this year, see what other people online said of the new place. (Especially being as the trip would cost me more money.)

But I thought, what the hell?

How longs it been since you've been? Can you remember if there's any food served there?

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby Wildey

SnookerFan wrote:
Wildey wrote:Ive Been to the Motorpoint Arena (formerly CIA) and it was rubbish Worst Venue ive ever been to.

I Would be interested to hear your opinion on the place.


I thought it was you who said they hated it. <laugh>

I was going to give it a miss this year, see what other people online said of the new place. (Especially being as the trip would cost me more money.)

But I thought, what the hell?

How longs it been since you've been? Can you remember if there's any food served there?

its been a few years since it was in cardiff i think i went last time in 2002 the year Hunter won it for the second time.

so i will be interested to hear about your experiance in the new venue.....

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby Wildey

Having been there I know what ronnie means.

As a fan Newport was better.

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby shankly

Not been to the Motorpoint Arena so perhaps I'm not best placed to comment. But I will say that I thought Newport was a super venue -- it's not spectacular and it won't blow anyone away, but it just felt... comfortable. It wasn't too big, the ceiling wasn't too high, the seating banked all the way up, atmosphere was great... everything just worked. This venue in Cardiff looks way way way too big for snooker. Haven't we learned from Wembley Arena era at all?!

It's true that the Welsh probably went on too long last year, but I think it's clear now the solution isn't to look for an even bigger arena to cram 11 tables into. Play one or two qualifying rounds at Barnsley or whatever and keep the tournament at Newport. Will solve the problem of players having to share practice tables too -- that's just ridiculous.

Come on Barry, 32 at Newport, best of 11s. It ain't rocket science.

EDIT: Forgot to say, amazing crowds in for a Monday!

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby SnookerFan

Dan-cat wrote:I can confirm 100%, they do have food in Cardiff.


Yeah, I got that. I wasn't querying whether there was food available anywhere in the city. <laugh>

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby SnookerFan

shankly wrote:Not been to the Motorpoint Arena so perhaps I'm not best placed to comment. But I will say that I thought Newport was a super venue -- it's not spectacular and it won't blow anyone away, but it just felt... comfortable. It wasn't too big, the ceiling wasn't too high, the seating banked all the way up, atmosphere was great... everything just worked. This venue in Cardiff looks way way way too big for snooker. Haven't we learned from Wembley Arena era at all?!

It's true that the Welsh probably went on too long last year, but I think it's clear now the solution isn't to look for an even bigger arena to cram 11 tables into. Play one or two qualifying rounds at Barnsley or whatever and keep the tournament at Newport. Will solve the problem of players having to share practice tables too -- that's just ridiculous.

Come on Barry, 32 at Newport, best of 11s. It ain't rocket science.

EDIT: Forgot to say, amazing crowds in for a Monday!


That edit in itself says all that you need to know. Barry loves moving things to where he can get big crowds. (As well he should.) Newport wasn't a fashionable place. In fact, it was a bit of a dump. (Compared to most places, if not to where I live.) So, though you got decent crowds in for the semis and finals, the early rounds were poorly attended.

Cardiff seemed packed, at least on telly yesterday. So Barry won't care whether fans liked the venue better, or that you could get a decent hotel for half the price in Newport compared to Cardiff. He'll care about the crowds, and the money coming into the sport. That's his job.

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby SnookerFan

Saying all that, I really liked the NC.

Hopefully the Motorpoint will be just as good. Ronnie's comments don't fill me with confidence. Especially as he was just echoing what Wild had said beforehand. I'll give it a try, see what I think. Decide whether to go next year or not.

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby shankly

Yeah, it'll be interesting to see what you make of it. I actually think it comes across pretty well on telly, it's only in photos where it looks too big and you can see the back tables and it just makes the whole thing look a bit like a warehouse!

Looking forward to seeing the two- and one-table set-ups though, if they can still make it feel intimate it might all be ok, plus having a massive crowd there makes up for a lot. In which case, keep the tournament at Cardiff so we can have the crowds but I still think 32 or 64 at most at the venue works best.

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby AC or LT?

Does it have a balcony.

I think at the Barbican it was the saving grace of the main arena in the early rounds with people being able to move in and out between frames and during without distracting the players on other tables too much.

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby SnookerFan

Odd venue.

Massive place, but with a very small foyer. You;'re not allowed into the auditorium more than half an hour before the match starts. Fair enough, but the open it up to let you walk around the foyer. Now, I was only there for the one table set up, so it may have been better earlier in the week. Anyway, I got there a bit early, to check the place out. There must've been about 1000 people milling around the foyer, not being allowed into the main auditorium.

They didn't seem to know how to deal with this. There weren't even any toilets in the foyer. Several people were asking where the toilets where, and they were told they weren't allowed into them yet.

Also, as the main auditorium had been downsized from when there were many tables, several of the entrances had been closed. Staff didn't know this until the last minute, so had to send a crowd to the other side to get into a different entrance.

Like I say, might have been good with the multi-table set up, and they might improve in the second year they do it when they have experience of holding these things. But for the one table set up, it seemed to be a massive arena, trying to be a smaller one.

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby Wildey

Well at least they let you in to the foyer 10 years ago you was shivering out in the rain.


ive said it many times on here its a rubbish venue for spectators and 10 years on its still rubbish and not very fan friendly.

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby shankly

SnookerFan wrote:But for the one table set up, it seemed to be a massive arena, trying to be a smaller one.


I think that is the crux of the venue problem. In my opinion, snooker works best in intimate venues. It helps with the acoustics, it helps to build tension and drama, and it helps when you're close enough to get a good view of the table and be able to read expressions and body language of players.

But you clearly need large PTC style arenas to accommodate the sheer volume of matches in the early rounds or they'll drag on for days.

As long as they persist in this 128 at venue malarkey, we will have this problem at every tournament with lousy compromises nobody is really happy with. Maybe a multi-arena set up for the first two rounds? Like at York, but with a not so crap 2nd 'back room'? Or have 2 tv tables and all the rest playing in a big warehouse? It'll be crap for most of the pros, but then not everyone plays on centre court, right? You need to earn the privilege.

I don't know. Personally I think the 128 model is a poor one for snooker. Even in tennis most of the tournaments aren't 128. But I guess they're going to try everything to make it work for the next few years at least, which is fair enough.

Re: The Motorpoint Arena

Postby SnookerFan

A slightly amusing story.

The pub opposite the Motorpoint was offering 15% off meals if you produced a value snooker ticket. So I figured I'd go there for a Sunday Roast. I got talking to some lads who had been there all week. Apparently the landlord of the pub had got some friend who was on staff at the Motorpoint, and had allowed him to stick up a sign advertising this snooker discount offer.

Anyway, when Ronnie mentioned that he didn't like the Motorpoint, the landlord took offence. He'd known how had the staff there had worked to get it all set up, and so he officially barred Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Not that Ronnie had ever been in that pub, but the Landlord had made it aware that he wouldn't be welcome if he showed up. <laugh>