SNOOKER’S biggest stars are coming to Bolton after it was announced the Whites Hotel would host the 2021 Champion of Champions in November.

The tournament, of which Ronnie O’Sullivan is a three-time champion, sees winners from the previous 12 months bid to pick up another major prize.

The UniBol will host the event from November 15 to 21 with a full house expected to be on hand as Covid-19 restrictions ease in the coming weeks. 

Having been played in 1978 and 1980 the event returned in 2013 and was played at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena until last year when it moved to a bio-secure bubble at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

Now though the Whites Hotel, which has already seen the return of top-class darts this year, will be the venue with defending champion Mark Allen, Judd Trump and Mark Selby among the players to have already qualified.

Rachel Wilson, sales director at the hotel, said: “The return of events here at Bolton Whites Hotel is something that we have all been looking forward to for a long time and we are delighted to be welcoming such a prestigious tournament to our multi-purpose venue later this year.”

The week-long tournament is live on ITV and carries a prize fund of £440,000, the winner picking up £150,000.

Tickets will be available to 2019 and 2020 ticket holders on Monday, April 26, before general sale opens on Tuesday, April 27.

Full pricing details will be announced shortly.

Emily Frazer, managing director of Matchroom Multi Sport, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing the Champion of Champions to Bolton Whites Hotel at the University of Bolton Stadium, and even more thrilled at the prospect of welcome fans back in November having missed them so much in 2020.

“The Champion of Champions is one of snooker’s standout events, proved by its list of previous winners including Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Neil Robertson.

“We have seen some memorable matches and great moments over the years and we can’t wait to witness more drama on the baize in November.

“Bolton Whites Hotel at the University of Bolton Stadium has proved a successful and popular host venue for our colleagues at the PDC (darts) and we are excited to be working with the team there to bring a major snooker event to the North West.”

The Champion of Champions begins with a quartet of four-man groups played over four days. The winner of each group progresses to the semi-finals.

The final on Sunday, November 21, will be over 19 frames.