Hull's KC Stadium to be transformed for Allam British Squash Open
THIS is how the KC Stadium will be transformed as the British Squash Open is held at a football stadium for the first time in its history.
The sport's most iconic and prestigious tournament is to be staged at the KC Stadium from May 20 to 26, with tickets having now gone on sale.
More than 8,000 fans are expected to attend the tournament, with the semi-finals and final broadcast live to a world-wide audience on Sky Television.
It will see the world's best players head to Hull, with two Yorkshire-based players, three time British Open and current champion Nick Matthew, and former world number one and two-time national champion James Willstrop, competing.
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Held after the end of the Championship season, the staging of the tournament will have no impact on Hull City, even if they face a play-off semi-final clash, with the date scheduled for that being in the week of the week commencing May 13.
The tournament also comes during a period in Hull FC's season when they have a four-week break from playing at home after hosting London Broncos on Friday, May 3, due to the Magic Weekend in Manchester.
That will give officials plenty of time to convert the KC ready to be the first football stadium to host the event.
It will see the squash court sat on a purpose-built stage in front of the central seating section of the south stand, in the penalty area.
All seating and the court will be covered by a marquee coming from the top of the stand, completely enclosing the arena and protecting it from the elements.
A 'retail village' will also be created on the concourse for fans, with officials promising a 'colourful and perfect arena for world-class action."
The Allam British Open is coming to Hull on the back of a seven-figure investment by Hull City owner Assem Allam to sponsor the event over a three-year period.
Last year was the first year of his backing at the O2 Arena in London, and officials predict the event will bring around an additional £3m-£4m into the local economy over the next two years that it is staged at the KC Stadium.
As well as the main event, a British Open Masters, for players aged 35 and over, is expected to attract more than 400 players from 38 countries over the two years.
It comes as British Squash await a decision in October as to whether the sport will be chosen as an Olympic sport in 2013.
For a limited time tickets are available for only £10.
Visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk and enter the promotional code SQUASH410.