Yushan County is set to become home to the world’s first Billiard Sports City with work already well underway in China’s Jiangxi Province.
The destination, which has this week welcomed the World Snooker Tour for the 2017 World Open, a the prestigious ranking event carrying a £700,000 prize fund and won last season by Ali Carter, has big ambitions to become China’s Billiards Capital.
Plans include plans the creation of a Snooker Bay, Billiard Sports Museum, Billiards Sports Academy, Athletes Village and a new bespoke venue to host major events.
The initiative is supported by long-term partner Xing Pai Star, who together with Yushan County has jointly hosted the World Open during the past two years. Operating for over 30 years, Xing Pai Star has played a key role in the development of billiard sports in Asia since the late 1980s and are recognised by followers of snooker as the suppliers of the world’s best snooker tables used by professionals on tour today.
Some might wonder why Yushan has been chosen to be home to such a significant project, but in fact the answer lies within the billiard table itself as Yushan bluestone slate is one of the most suitable stones in the world to be used within the tables produced by Xing Pai Star and used all over the world.
The staging of major international snooker events including the World Open and also the Chinese Billiards Championship also hosted by Xing Pai Star, have placed Yushan firmly on the map and played a key role in promoting the development of the city and sports, as well as encouraging tourism in the area.
And there is much to see, with the County close to the picturesque Sanqing Mountain, named after its three most famous summits: Yujing, Yuxu and Yuhua and since 2008 recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “This is a huge step for our sport and a demonstration of just how far billiard sports have come in its development to be able to engage with a County on a project of this scale. Snooker now reaches approximately 1.6bn homes around the world and we are proud to be able to deliver such a significant tournament as this week’s World Open to Yushan.
“We have all been made to feel extremely welcome this week and it is exciting to see the scale of the plans and the vision that our partners have to create the world’s first Billiard Sports city right here. Hopefully this will be the first of many such ambitious projects!”
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