Masters moves from Wembley to Alexandra Palace

Ding Junhui wins the Masters
Ding Junhui picked up the 2011 Masters with a win over Marco Fu in January

The Masters will move across London from current home Wembley to Alexandra Palace from the start of next season.

The event has been held at Wembley since 1979, initially at the now-demolished Conference Centre and, since 2007, at the Arena.

The first Masters to be played at Alexandra Palace, which also hosts the PDC World Darts Championship, will run from 15 to 22 January.

The UK Championship will also move from Telford to York's Barbican Centre.

That move, which ends a four-year spell in Telford, means that John Higgins will attempt to defend his title in a venue that staged the event from 2001-2006 but at which he failed to make a final.

Meanwhile reigning Masters champion Ding Junhui will hope that the move away from Wembley does not hit his hopes of reaching a third final - especially as Hearn insisted that both relocations, while initially short term, are likely to be extended.

"Alexandra Palace is one of the iconic buildings in London," said World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn.

"I've staged boxing matches there and the World Darts Championship which has been an enormous success.

"We have the ability to build within this arena an atmospheric staging of a major event."

However one event that will not be moving any time soon is the World Championship, with Hearn saying he would happily commit to a deal far in excess of the current four-year contract.

"This is my cathedral of dreams. I love this place. I go through the curtain, close my eyes, and I'm in a time warp," he added.

"We're tied in for the next four years to this place and I really wouldn't care if it was 40."

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