Newport secures Welsh Open deal for next three years

John Higgins celebrates after winning the final of the 2011 Welsh Open
John Higgins celebrates after winning the final of the 2011 Welsh Open

The Welsh Open will remain at its Newport Centre home for at least the next three years thanks to new funding pledged by Newport City Council.

John Higgins will be back to defend the title he won 9-6 against Stephen Maguire last year at the 2012 event, which will be from 13-19 February.

The top 16 in the world, which includes home favourite Mark Williams, plus 16 qualifiers will contest the title.

BBC Cymru Wales will be the host broadcaster for the tournament.

A World Snooker spokesperson said: "We are delighted to have reached a new agreement with Newport City Council which will keep the Welsh Open in Newport for at least the next three years.

"The event is well established there and the venue draws strong crowd figures each year, which shows the enduring enthusiasm for snooker among fans in south Wales.

"Last season in Newport we saw some fantastic snooker, including a 147 maximum break from Stephen Hendry and an exciting final won by John Higgins.

"With so many great players on the circuit now we are guaranteed thrilling action in every tournament."

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