This Week In Darts – 31st Of May 2024

BEHIND THE SCENES

PDC Considers Moving Away From Ally Pally

The PDC World Darts Championship has been held at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace since 2008, but it looks as though a change in venue may very well be on the way.

PDC president Barry Hearn recently revealed that he is considering moving the World Darts Championship to Saudi Arabia. “I have spoken to the Saudis and they were very keen,” Hearn said in a recent chat with The Mirror. “It’s a great atmosphere at Ally Pally, but well, we’re looking at it. And we’re going to be very adventurous because we have tremendous demands all around the world for people that want to play in the World Darts Championship from different countries.”

This move also opens the idea to a larger World Darts Championship in the future. “We’ve got to start looking at making the World Championships bigger. If I went from 96 players to 128 for example, which I can easily do in a heartbeat, it brings in a lot more TV money from different countries,” Hearn explains. “And from the fans point of view, it gives me an extra 25,000 seats. Still nowhere near enough. I could sell a quarter of a million seats for the world championship. I sell 90,000.”

Still, Hearn says he sees an opportunity to keep the sport at its current venue and gain a larger audience. “Do I go into the big hall? I think there’s a lot of work, but that would give me 6,000 seats. And I’d still be at Ally Pally. Or do I go somewhere else Everyone will say, ‘are you gonna take it to Saudi?’ Well, no, don’t be silly. They’re not ready yet, But they won’t be far along,” he concludes. “They won’t allow alcohol and the essence of darts is it’s party time, isn’t it? It’s fun as well as great sport.”

What do you think about a supposed venue change for the World Darts Championship? Should Hearn keep the game at Alexandra Palace, or do you feel a move to Saudi Arabia would best benefit the sport?

PLAYER INSIGHTS

Price In Favour Of Moving Darts To Saudi Arabia

Gerwyn Price says he’s in favour of moving the sport of darts to Saudi Arabia.

Currently bolstered by more fans than ever before, many feel that the PDC should take advantage of its recent growth in a similar fashion to boxing. That sport has profited from staging its biggest fights in Riyadh and many feel that making a similar move with the World Darts Championship could be quite lucrative. Plus, a lack of alcohol would help keep the troublemakers away.

“Maybe it’s the way forward, less drunken hooligans that aren’t fans, causing fights, that turn up once in a blue moon and spoil/dictates the outcome of the game in what’s the most important event of the year for the players, if you want that atmosphere there’s 4 months of it with the Premier League, People can still enjoy themselves without alcohol,” he said.

This opinion stems from recent comments by Barry Hearn, who recently revealed in a chat with The Mirror that he has in fact spoken with the Saudis about moving the game to the Asian continent.

“I have spoken to the Saudis and they were very keen,” he said. “But of course there’s no alcohol in Saudi. There will be quite soon. And when it does, the first event they will want to stage will be darts.”

RECORD SETTER

Joe Cullen Seals Bizarre Euro Tour Record

Joe Cullen achieved a rather interesting milestone last weekend, entering a European Tour tournament in Rosmalen for the 81st time in a row.

No other player has ever played so many Euro Tour tournaments in a row without missing one. Previously, Ian White held the record, participating in no less than 80 consecutive Euro Tours from 2012 to 2020.

Over the years, Cullen has enjoyed a fair bit of success at Euro Tour tournaments. Following two semifinals in both 2017 and 2018, Cullen would go on to win his first ever Euro Tour title in 2019 by defeating Michael van Gerwen 8-5 in the final of the European Darts Matchplay.

In 2020, he would clinch his second Euro Tour title at the International Darts Open after the darter from Bradford again won 8-5 over the Dutchman in the final. Cullen would then take his third Euro Tour title at the Hungarian Darts Trophy in 2022 after an 8-2 victory against William O’Connor.

To date, Cullen has now participated in 107 Euro Tour tournaments and won three of the four finals he has taken part in.

WRITE ‘EM UP

Gurney Losses His Cool

Darter Daryl Gurney recently had a hard time swallowing a lost leg in the all-important match against Luke Woodhouse at the Dutch Darts Championship.

After three legs, Woodhouse held a 2-1 lead. Gurney then missed six chances to make it 2-2. Woodhouse then punished these misses by hitting double 18 to make it 3-1. That did not please Gurney at all, as he bellowed the words “f*cking sh*t” while stepping onto the oche.

Gurney would go on to suffer a 6-4 defeat against Woodhouse, officially taking him out of the race for a spot on the Northern Ireland World Cup team alongside Josh Rock. However, the Irishman’s troubles do not end there, as insiders say he can most likely expect a fine for his outburst during the event.

Compatriot Brendan Dolan will now pair with Rock for the World Cup of Darts, which begins Thursday, June 27th and plays straight through to Sunday, June 30th at the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt.