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World of Sport

16th Feb 2015

Ronnie O’Sullivan is not too happy about the new venue for the Welsh Open

'It's like playing in a shopping mall'

Sean Nolan

The Welsh Open moved from Newport to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff and the Rocket is not happy

Ronnie O’Sullivan glided to a 4-1 win over Aussie Vinnie Calabrese in the first round of the Welsh Open today but the five-time world champ was not in a great mood afterwards.

This year the Welsh Open has moved from its old home in Newport to the much larger Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff and the new venue, and how the crowd are behaving, were not up to Ronnie’s standards.

O’Sullivan told the BBC: “It’s like playing in a shopping mall. There were people walking around and getting up as and when they wanted. The etiquette of snooker is not to move when a player is on his shot.”

And while the crowd were a hindrance, O’Sullivan was also far from chuffed with the new venue.

“I don’t like it. I thought Newport was one of the best venues I’ve played at, so I was really gutted to see it go.

“I had played here, so I knew what kind of venue it was. It’s kind of like playing in an aircraft hangar, so it’s a bit difficult.

“The atmosphere’s not great, the acoustics are not as good, so from a snooker player’s perspective, it’s not as good a venue as Newport.”

The move to Cardiff was made so that the organisers could accommodate 128 players and 10 tables. Perhaps, when the number of players starts to shrink, the atmosphere, and crowd behaviour, will improve.

Ken Doherty is also through to Round 2 after a 4-3 win over Zhou Yuelong, so a potential Round 3 clash with O’Sullivan is still on the cards.