Snooker: Cardiff move will boost Welsh Open - Barry Hearn

Stephen Maguire takes a shot
Barry Hearn said moving the Welsh Open to Cardiff will help give it 'global status'.

Moving the Welsh Open to Cardiff from Newport will help it take off from its "humble roots," said World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn.

The tournament moves from the Newport Centre to the capital for the first time since 2004.

It will next be held at Motorpoint Arena with the 2015 tournament running from 16-22 February.

"The Welsh Open...has never really taken off from its humble roots to begin with," said Hearn.

"I'm conscious I don't want this to sound like a criticism of Newport, but it's a bit like having tennis down in Brighton then moving on to Wimbledon.

"I need to present the sport to the fans in a better way.

"Cardiff, as a huge city, is a great venue - we will be able to stage an event of global status rather than a local event and that's no criticism of Newport.

"It's just a compliment to the facilities available in Cardiff."

The event, which will be televised by BBC Wales, features 128 players and has a top prize of £60,000.

The 2014 final saw Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Ding Junhui 9-3, including a 147 maximum break in the last frame.

On Wednesday, Hearn announced that Llandudno's Venue Cymru will host the World Grand Prix - in March 2015.

That event will see 32 of the world's top players competing for a top prize of £100,000.