The future of the International Championship in Daqing has been secured, with the event to stay in the city until at least 2020.
The agreement between World Snooker, the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association, Daqing Municipal Government and CCTVSE will last for the next four years, until the 2020/21 season.
This week’s event is the third year that the tournament has been held in Daqing, and the city in China’s Heilongjiang Province has now established itself as the home of one of the premier events on the World Snooker Tour.
The prize fund this season is £750,000 with £150,000 going to the winner, making it the highest pot for any tournament held outside of the UK. The lucrative event will expand even further over the course of the deal, with the total prize money growing to £775,000 in 2018/19, £800,000 in 2019/20 and £825,000 in 2020/21.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: ” We are delighted to secure the future of the event in this city and I want to thank all parties for their help in creating this agreement to keep this fantastic tournament in the city of Daqing.
“This week our players have been competing for the most money ever offered in a ranking tournament outside of the UK. The players and officials love coming to Daqing and it has been a superb week of snooker on the tables. Many millions of people around the world are watching on television, putting Daqing in the global spotlight.
“Since the International Championship moved to Daqing we have been introducing the sport to the local community with exhibitions for schools and oil field workers (watch here). They have been enthusiastically received and that has been a joy to see. This has helped us to create a lasting infrastructure for the event and in turn has allowed us to attract blue chip sponsorship. That is a tremendous thing for the tournament and our sport.”