BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker has defended Crawley after snooker champion Ronnie O’Sulllivan criticised the K2 leisure centre.
O’Sullivan called it a ‘hellhole’ and said he could smell urine.
The leisure centre is being used for for this year’s English Open.
O’Sullivan told the BBC: “It’s such a bad venue, it demotivates you to want to play.
“This is about as bad as I’ve ever seen. It’s a bit of a hellhole.”
He added: “I don’t know what this gaff is but I’ve just done an interview and all I can smell is urine.
“It’s just got no atmosphere in there. I’m practising and I’ve got wires all around the table. There’s no security, you’ve got people running at you left, right and centre.
“It’s not the fans’ fault. They [World Snooker] obviously haven’t got the budget to run it properly.
“I don’t know where their budget is but they’re cutting corners. I think they should invest in good venues. Players deserve better.”
BBC Breakfast TV host Dan Walker, who grew up in Crawley, wrote on Twitter: “Welcome to Crawley Ronnie #HomeTown #NotEverythingSmellsOfUrine.”
A K2 Crawley spokesman said : “We are sorry and disappointed to hear that Ronnie has voiced some concerns over the venue, especially after feedback from everybody else has been so positive.
“We have been working closely with World Snooker to make this competition the best it can be and they are extremely happy with how the first day has gone, and in fact, we hear that ticket sales have already surpassed total numbers sold for all previous English Open venues.”
A spokesman from World Snooker added: “We are surprised to hear these comments from Ronnie given that he has made no formal complaint and the feedback from the other players has been overwhelmingly positive.
“And the partners we are working with on the event agree with our view that K2 Crawley is an excellent venue with very good facilities.
“There was a fantastic crowd in the arena today and the ticket sales for the event have already surpassed the total sales for 2016 and 2017.
“We look forward to seeing Ronnie play in the next round.”