The World Snooker Championship could welcome back fans next month as part of a UK government pilot scheme to open professional sport back up to the public.
According to the World Snooker Tour website, the government's science-led Events Research Programme will examine how live venues can safely allow the public to return in numbers with the path out of lockdown potentially ending on 21 June. England and Scotland are due to meet at the delayed Euro 2020 football tournament at Wembley three days earlier.
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"This review will be crucial to how venues – from major sport stadiums to comedy clubs, theatres to live music spaces, wedding venues to conference centres – could operate this summer," said WST.
The Crucible can hold 980 fans, but was allowed to host around a third of that number for the first day and final weekend of last year's tournament in July and August which saw Ronnie O'Sullivan claim his sixth world title.
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Numbers for the 45th staging of the event in Sheffield, which runs between Saturday 17 April until Monday 3 May LIVE on Eurosport, will be decided by local authorities and tournament organisers, but there is speculation the FA Cup final at Wembley could allow 20,000 fans to attend.
"These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing," said the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
“We will be guided by the science and medical experts, but will work flat out to make that happen. We want to get the people back to enjoying what they love and ensure some of our most important growth industries get back on their feet.
“These are important steps towards the safe and special summer we all crave and that I’m fully focused on delivering.”
Apart from the reduced crowd at the Crucible, snooker has been played behind closed doors over the past year with all events being hosted by the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes under strict Covid-19 testing guidelines.
The Players Championship was staged behind closed doors at Celtic Manor in Wales with the Tour Championship later this month under similar conditions at the same venue.
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