Snooker: Welsh Open move is 'a step forward' - Terry Griffiths

Former world champion Terry Griffiths said shifting the Welsh Open from Newport to Cardiff is "a move forward."

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn announced on Thursday that the event will move from the Newport Centre to the Motorpoint Arena , starting in 2015.

Griffiths said: "I feel the capital city is a more attractive venue for some people, especially if you're travelling and staying in hotels.

"So I think it's a move forward by Barry Hearn."

Griffiths, who won the world championship in 1979, said Newport has been "very good to snooker" over the years, but no competition stays at the same venue forever.

Terry Griffiths

Born in Llanelli on 16 October 1946, Griffiths turned professional in 1978 and won the World Championship in 1979.

Griffiths retired in 1997 after losing to Mark Williams in the first round at the Crucible.

Received an OBE in 2009.

Griffiths has coached world champions including Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams and has also worked with Stephen Maguire, Ali Carter, Mark Allen and Marco Fu, Barry Hawkins and Mark Davis.

"You've had the Crucible, there's talk about moving away from there and that's been a great event. The Masters moved from Wembley up to Alexandra Palace, so it's not the first time and I don't think it's anything to do with Newport."

The Welsh Open was last played in Cardiff in 2004 and Griffiths told BBC Radio Wales Sport he expects the crowds to grow with the move.

He said the new home means there are better train links and a better choice of restaurants and hotels for fans and players alike.

"Cardiff has got more facilities closer to the venue than Newport has, but there's been a lot of good times in Newport, irrespective of what Ronnie O'Sullivan [who said he likes playing in Newport] thinks, Barry Hearn makes the decisions now," added Griffiths.

"He bought-in to the game and he makes all the major decisions, so wherever he says they go, they go."