UK Championship could move
Snooker looks set for a significant venue reshuffle next season after complaints over the facilities available at the UK Championship.
- Related Content
An expanded first-round field of 128 players has tested the constraints of York's Barbican Centre, angering many players.
The Ricoh Arena in Coventry has emerged as a likely alternative, having successfully staged the recent Champion of Champions.
And that tournament could fill the void in the schedule at the Yorkshire venue, whose contract to host the UK Championship expires this year.
Jason Ferguson, chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and a World Snooker board member, is open to such a move.
"That would certainly be a possibility. I wouldn't rule out something like that happening," said Ferguson.
"We love the venue, we've been here many years. We've always got good crowds, we love the Barbican Centre and we love the city.
"It's just the logistical issues with the tournament expanding to 128 players, and it's a question of what facilities we're able to provide for those players.
"We've just had the Champion of Champions, which was a great tournament and the Ricoh Arena is a great venue.
"It's one that we could work with and it could house the number of tables that we need."
World number one Neil Robertson is a fan of the Barbican Centre but admitted a straight swap could be in the best interest of all parties.
"Experiencing that tournament last week, it was a really big venue so I guess it could accommodate the tables better," he agreed.
"That would be a really good trade-off. York would obviously lose the UK Championship but the Champion of Champions is a tournament all the players are really excited about.
"It'd mean you're going to have all the tournament winners here next year, so in some ways they'd probably be really happy with that.
"This is a brilliant venue once we get down to the last 32, the last 16 - the one-table set-up is fantastic here - but with the tour being 128 and the flat draws, we do need to play at venues where we can accommodate the tables and have practice facilities.
"The first round here, you had to go to the snooker club across the road and it's not ideal preparation."
The early stages of this year's tournament have seen four tables running side by side in the Barbican's main arena and four more in an ancillary sports hall venue.
The latter drew particularly strong criticism from Mark King after his second-round loss to Fergal O'Brien, while world number four Judd Trump labelled the main arena "a circus" and reigning world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan revealed he changed for his first-round match in a hotel toilet.
Ferguson said: "In three and a half years we've gone from six events up to 30 so that brings with it logistical complaints, which we've seen this week from some of the players.
"Some of that is genuine, we'd hold our hands up that we've not got everything right."