The CrucibleOne of the most iconic events in sport, The World Snooker Championship, is to remain in Sheffield until 2017.

The tournament, the richest and most prestigious in snooker, was first staged at the Crucible in 1977 so 2017 will mark its 40th anniversary in Sheffield.

The event is worth over £5 million to the city based on a combination of direct economic impact and extensive media profile in the UK, Europe and the Far East, with a total audience of 285 million viewers.

Sheffield has fought off competition from a host of major international cities looking to take the blue riband event out of its traditional home.

The new deal, announced by World Snooker Limited and Sheffield City Council, will the see the Crucible Theatre, with its unique and electric atmosphere, remaining as the dramatic centre-stage.

Many of snooker’s great names have lifted the famous trophy at the Crucible, including Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O’Sullivan and the reigning champion Mark Selby.

The deal also includes a new International Trade partnership which will see the city promoting itself to Investors and future International students at over 17 events on the World Snooker Tour held outside of the UK.

Cllr Julie Dore – Leader of Sheffield City Council said: “We are delighted to keep the World Championship in Sheffield. This deal shows that Sheffield has real ambition. We are determined to use this partnership to help World Snooker to grow the game with new audiences and also to open up new global business opportunities for the city.”

Barry Hearn – Chairman of World Snooker said: “Snooker fans and players alike will be thrilled to hear this news as Sheffield and the Crucible are such an integral part of the history of the World Championship. Many thousands of people make snooker’s greatest pilgrimage each year to witness the intense and magical ambience that the Crucible generates.

“It’s marvellous to have the continued support of Sheffield City Council and to take the agreement up to the 40th anniversary and hopefully beyond!”