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World Snooker Championship’s test event for the return of crowds hit by slow uptake in sales

Hundreds of tickets remain unsold for the World Snooker Championship despite the Crucible only open at a third capacity.

The 17-day tournament, which begins on Friday, has been chosen as a test event for the return of crowds to live sport.

It will be the first time fans have attended an indoor sporting event since the Covid-19 lockdown in March and around 300 spectators are allowed into the 980-capacity arena.

However, three days before defending champion Judd Trump breaks off in Sheffield, only three of the 80 sessions have sold out – with tickets even available for the first day of the final.

The World Snooker Championship usually sells out within days when tickets are released a year in advance.

But for this year’s event – which was originally scheduled for April – fans appear nervous to return and adhere to the strict ‘spectator code of conduct’, which includes wearing a face mask while moving around the venue, although that is not required while actually sat in the auditorium.

Tickets are available in fixed clusters of one, two, three or four and only two household bubbles are allowed to sit together. Each group is sat distanced from others.

A World Snooker spokesperson said: ‘This will be a unique sporting experience and seats are still available. We urge spectators to read the code of conduct before they arrive.’

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