Monday, 19 September 2011

Will snooker come back to Brazil?

There's a certain proportion of people in the snooker community who love to pour cold water on anything new within the sport.

The doom and gloom mongers have been out in force over the last few days criticising anything and everything about the inaugural Brazilian Masters.

I'm not for minute suggesting the event was a complete success; far from it.

There's plenty of room for improvement - but that's to be expected of any new event.

We all remember snooker's maiden voyages to China and Germany, where crowds where pale in comparison to those they get today.

Expensive ticket prices were quoted by many as the reason for low attendances this week in South America. That's a very fair point, but unfortunately what we must remember is that for promoters, staging snooker events is all about making money.

The harsh reality is that promoters rarely have the long-term welfare of the sport at heart. Instead, it's all about business.

There's no point dismissing that point because if snooker is to return to Brazil next year, or ever again, sponsorship is key. That means we'll have to wait and see what the TV figures were like. This coupled with revenue generated from ticket sales will determine whether baize action will come back to the samba culture.

On a personal note, I enjoyed all of the matches I watched from Brazil. The tournament ended with a worthy winner in Shaun Murphy and featured a couple of other great matches along the way.

Probably the biggest pull of the week though was local lad Igor Figueiredo. His first round win against Jamie Cope went down a storm with the natives and his presence definitely gave the event extra edge.

It's not unusual for a home hope to add value to a sporting event and Igor, as one of the tour's brightest characters, certainly spiced up proceedings.

It's fair to say that Brazil's relationship with snooker, although it has been simmering for while, is still relatively in its infancy. But by the same token, the tournament earned enough interest to suggest there is a fairly rosey future there for the sport.

This year's Brazilian Masters may just be what is needed to increase the country's appetite for the game. And who knows, maybe in the not too distant future, we'll be coming back here for a ranking event, or even watching a small clutch of Brazilian players break on to the professional scene.

Barry Hearn would not have been expecting miracles from a single trip to Brazil but at least now the seed has been sewn for the growth of snooker on another corner of the planet.

1 comment:

  1. totally agree.

    and it has been sad the amount of people that was seamingly hoping it was a failure.

    as a first outing in a new market by the final it drew better crowds than i expected so in my book atendancies was a big success in a new country.