But much better than Wembley arena no? Players and fans used to complain it was too big and had no great atmosphere.
I'll go to Ally Pally myself one day and see how good or how bad it is.
It was the chicken and the egg, really. The atmosphere was crap because nobody turned up, but people didn't bother turning up because the atmosphere was crap. Part of me always wanted to like Wembley Arena. It was a convenient walk from the tube station, and you could pop out for a McDonalds fairly conveniently between matches. But it had to be moved for a fresh start.
The staff at Wembley didn't help themselves though. I don't think they really knew how to run a snooker event. Example; I once turned up to the Wildcard round at 11am, but the person I went with had to drop their kid off at school first. So we arrived late for the first frame. So we stood about, waiting for the frame to be over. We had tickets that told us we had to specifically go through one entrance. Fine. Except the frame finished, and the member of staff manning the door wouldn't let anybody through. They didn't understand the rules to snooker, and had been told to only let people through the door when their manager gave them permission. (Their manager was supposed to radio message them at covenient times, and forgot to inform this person that frame 1 was over.) The fact that 50 people turned up at the same time asking to be let in, didn't give this person enough reason to maybe check with her manager whether we could be let in. So we missed frame 2 as well.
That wasn't the only thing like this that happened. Not what you need when you are struggling to get fans to come to an event that doesn't sell well.
Alexandra Palace is an improvement on that. But I just never quite found it to be as kicking, or as lively as it's reputation suggests. I know it is when the darts are on. And maybe I expected to much, but I somehow never felt it to be as exciting or wonderful as anybody says it was. It's improved over time. It now opens a bar area that has BBC 1 on, so you can wonder in for food and drinks and watch the game without being inside the arena, if you wish. But I always just found it to be lacking somehow.
I go more because it's commutable to me, than anything.