Matt Porter says “it is the best news” that Premier League tickets are going on sale.
As part of an exclusive interview with Online Darts, the Chief Executive of the PDC could not contain his excitement at the announcement.
In the wide ranging interview, Mr Porter discussed:
- a hopeful return to normal for the World Matchplay
- why postponing the recent Super Series in Germany was never looked at
- Eddie Hearn replacing his Dad Barry as chairman of Matchroom Sport
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel”
Friday’s announcement that fans would be allowed in for the final five nights of the Premier League saw a hugely positive reaction from across the darting world. For Porter and the staff at the PDC, it was no exception.
“It’s phenomenal news. It’s the best news we’ve had. I would say it’s better news than when we had it for Ally Pally.
“Back then, there was always that second wave fear, and there were really strong restrictions. This time there is restrictions, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel now.
“We feel that this part of the pathway… back to normal. We’ve seen it at other sporting events.
“It’s great for us. It’s great for our fans.”
When asked on whether he thought there would be a capacity crowd in Blackpool for the 2021 World Matchplay, Porter said: “I hope so. It’s kind of going to have to be!
“You just can’t socially distance in the Winter Gardens. You can’t stay away from people in there. It’s the only venue left we still have standing tickets. What are we going to do? Put tape on the floor and say ‘you’ve got to stand in a box?’
“It’s got to be back to normal by then.”
Tickets are still available for the 2021 World Matchplay. Buy them here.
“We’ve got a commitment not just to British players, but to global players”
Despite the UK government saying that all elite sport stars had to quarantine if they’d been abroad, the recent PDC Super Series still took place in Germany.
“There was a lot of planning. There was a lot of people that had booked arrangements. The change in rules to remove the quarantine exemption on the return to the UK wasn’t deemed by ourselves to be a sufficient enough reason to cancel the event,” explained Porter.
“It’s always a risk at the moment to ask people to get on an aeroplane and travel overseas, and that applies both ways with people coming into the UK or going overseas.
“We’ve got a commitment not just to British players, but to global players for this sport. There are a sufficient number of non UK tour card holders that justify us holding events outside the UK.”
Porter also explained that with the vaccination programme continuing to work well in the UK, events will continue to be held in the country for the time being.
View our full interview with Matt Porter, conducted by Phill Barrs, below.