Anybody else been there for snooker? Couldn’t decide on my thoughts.
On first arrival, I discovered that my hotel is within the same building of the snooker. I literally didn’t have to feel fresh air on my skin from checking in time, to check out time. It was almost as if I’d paid for a bed in the same room as the snooker was held. Though the hotel charged me a hell of a lot for the privilege. There weren’t many hotels nearby, and those that were had sold out by the time I booked tickets. So I took the plunge, and went all in to the hotel in the same venue.
Walking about the Ricoh I wanted to like it as a venue. It seemed like a mini Ally-Pally, only better. But I began noticing the same problems with the Alexandra Palace. No atmosphere. When people talk about the Ricoh Arena’s fabulous atmosphere, they pretty much just mean ‘looks good on television’.
I mean, it was no Crucible. Where the snooker becomes the centre of everything for 17 days. Example. In Sheffield, all hotel staff watch snooker, even if they don’t care about it, so they can talk to customers about it.
Granted, that’s The Crucible. The biggest tournament in our sport. But considering the venue was all in one, it seemed a bit dour somehow. People just weren’t interacting with other snooker fans. Something seemed missing. There was a bar opposite the snooker called The Legends Lounge that had ITV 4 on all day. (And opened before midday, so was showing some weird antique show with a couple of Texan blokes.) But even that felt, I dunno, like people were just doing it because they felt it was a sensible decision.
In no bar that was there did I get talking about snooker, despite trying.
Maybe I should stop travelling alone to snooker events. But even when you went to the Newport Centre, there was some atmosphere to the place. And was in the centre of the city, so you could go to a pub or to the nearby chip shop/curry house during matches.
One thing I will say, the layout inside the arena was good. There wasn't really a bad seat in the house. Even when I was sat at the back, I had an amazing view of the table. And it's easy to nip out for a toilet break, and be back in your seat for the next frame. Something that wouldn't be possible at a lot of venues.
Anybody else go? Agree / Disagree.
For what has become such a highly regarded, cool tournament, the atmosphere of the place seemed flat somehow.
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