Australian Goldfields Open to return to Bendigo
Snooker's Australian Goldfields Open world ranking event will return to Bendigo in 2014 and 2015.
The Victorian Government's Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher, made the announcement in Australia today.
“The Victorian Government is proud to continue its support of the Australian Snooker Goldfields Open as the event provides significant broadcast exposure showcasing the region across 60 countries including China and the United Kingdom.
“The event is expected to generate continued economic benefit for Bendigo and the State over the next two years,” Ms Asher said.
Following three successful tournaments, Martin Jolly, Senior Vice President and Managing Director IMG Australia/NZ, is pleased to see the Goldfields Open return to Bendigo.
“IMG is proud to once again be working with WSL and the Victorian Major Events Company to bring the Australian Snooker Goldfields Open and the world’s best players to regional Victoria for another two years.
“IMG Media will distribute the television coverage throughout Europe and China, and FOX SPORTS will broadcast the tournament nationally, showcasing regional Victoria to a significant global audience,” Mr Jolly said.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: "We are thrilled to keep this tournament in Bendigo until 2015. Snooker is one of the world's fastest growing sports and this world ranking tournament in Australia is an important part of our global expansion.
"The high standard and professionalism of the Victorian Government and IMG has been exceptional over the past three years. The players, officials and fans have enjoyed visiting the Goldfields region and look forward to returning in 2014," Mr Hearn said.
World number one Neil Robertson took out Mark Selby at the UK Championship in December 2013 to go with his World and Masters titles and become the first player outside of the UK to claim the illustrious Triple Crown.
"I have loved playing in front of a home crowd and I am stoked to have the opportunity again for the next two years," said Robertson.
"I had a good run to the final this year, and although I was disappointed to lose to Marco Fu, it left me even more determined to win the title in the future.
"It's fantastic to have a major ranking event in my home country as it gives players from around the world the chance to experience the Goldfields region. And it also gives the chance for talented local players to compete for wild card places. Hopefully this tournament will help snooker to grow in Australia."
In 2014 total prize money will rise to $500,000, making the Australian Snooker Goldfields Open the richest WSL event in the region, outside of China.