Big money Xi’an Grand Prix added to World Snooker Tour calendar for next season

Zhang Anda won the International Championship in Tianjin in November (Picture: WST)

World Snooker Tour have announced that the Xi’an Grand Prix will be added to the calendar next season, with the new ranking event boasting a top prize of £177,000.

After professional snooker was unable to be played in China throughout the pandemic, it has returned with great success this season with three ranking events and the invitational Shanghai Masters.

There will be another Chinese event on the schedule in the next campaign, with the Xi’an Grand Prix held from 19-25 August, with qualifiers in July, and a total prize pot of £850,000.

That puts it ahead of the International Championship won by Zhang Anda in November, which had a prize fund of £825,000.

There is also a commitment to increase the prize funds in years to come, to £875,000 and then £900,000.

Reacting to the news on Tuesday morning, world number nine Kyren Wilson told ‘That’s good news and I think it’s a good time to have one, in August. It can be a bit of a slow-burner before the Shanghai Masters. It’s a really good addition, exciting times!’

WST chairman Steve Dawson said: ‘This is fantastic news for our players and fans as we continue our global development and particularly our presence in China. During the 2023/24 season we have been able to stage events in mainland China for the first time since 2019 and this return has been a great success, with three world ranking events as well as one invitation tournament, and a fabulous reception from our friends and partners in the cities we have visited.

‘We are thrilled and excited to announce a new event and to be heading for the first time to the fascinating location of Xi’an, with its remarkable history and culture. The local fans will have the chance to see their heroes play live. And for the players this is another opportunity to experience a new location, while competing and earning a high level of prize money.

‘Our particular thanks go to the CBSA for their long term dedication to growing our sport throughout China, and to Shaanxi Sports Industry Group Limited. We look forward to working with them closely on the first Xi’an Grand Prix and to a successful long term partnership.’

WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson added: ‘The WPBSA is delighted to see this new event added to the World Snooker Tour. This is a stunning destination and a significant major ranking event which will benefit our full playing membership. On behalf of our players and officials, I must express our thanks to all our partners, both at WST and in China.’

Provisional dates for Chinese events in 2024/25

Shanghai Masters: July (dates TBC)
Xi’an Grand Prix qualifiers: July 25-28 
Xi’an Grand Prix: August 19-25
Wuhan Open qualifiers: August 26–28
International Championship qualifiers: October 1–4
Wuhan Open: October 7-13
International Championship: November 3-10
World Open qualifiers: December 16–19
World Open: March 3-9

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