By Josh Atherton
BUILDERS COMPLETED the £650,000 facelift of Barnsley Metrodome last Friday in time for it to host snooker’s prestigious English Open tournament.
Snooker stars such as Ronnie O’Sullivan were among the first to see the new look Metrodome as they arrived to compete in the contest which concludes on October 22.
Changes made to the venue include a new back entrance and a facelift inside the entrance with managers hoping it will help attract more high profile sporting events such as boxing.
Richard Bailey, trading facility manager, said: “The front of the building will still be used as access for the gym and what we have tried to do is separate our visitors and customers when events are on to increase the safety when we hold these events.
“We actually started the work 10 years ago as we have been slowly trying to move away from the fact that we were just a swimming pool and gym and now we are trying to become more a of multifunctional facility.”
Stefan Cottingham, spinning class leader, said: “It is great to see that the Metrodome is trying to show it can do a bit of everything really, it is good to see it trying to rival Doncaster dome.”
The work on the Metrodome was undertaken and completed by CD Potters, a local business that specialises in commercial and residential building works.
Chris Potter said: “The work took around six months from start to finish it was great to be a part of as it can benefit a lot of people in the town and it gets us out there.”
Rumours are circulating that the Metrodome will now become the permanent home of the English Open.
Mr Bailey said: “It would be nice but it is too early to say at the moment. Hopefully we can get something done though and attract other prestigious sporting events to Barnsley following from the legacy of the Tour de Yorkshire.”