In recent weeks the PDC have successfully hosted events in Austria and Germany with fans back in arenas. PDC Chief Executive Matt Porter has told us at Online Darts that they have made the UK government aware of the success.
The PDC were all set and ready to welcome back fans on the 1st of October until the UK government changed the rules on gatherings. The crushing news that it could be as long another six months until fans are allowed back into the arenas in the UK.
With this news, the PDC announced that the Grand Slam of Darts, Players Championships Finals and the Winter Series would all be played behind closed doors at the Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
This now casts enormous doubt over the William Hill World Darts Championships that is due to start in December. PDC Chairman Barry Hearn has hinted that it could be played outside if the UK if fans are allowed in.
The biggest problem throughout this whole scenario has been the uncertainty so to now have some clarity over what we can do over the next couple of months in what is traditionally always really our busiest time is good for everybody,” said Porter to Online Darts.
“If you were setting a book on it, you’d price Ally Pally as the short priced favourite, and you’d price Ally Pally without fans at even a shorter priced favourite.
It’s not something we want to rule out. It would be extremely difficult to find somewhere, get the deal done and get everything arranged logistically at short notice but that’s what we’re good at. You would probably expect things to be at Alexandra Palace.”
“We have made them aware that we’ve staged events successfully with crowds in Austria and Germany and we will continue to do so over the weeks ahead so if there is any influence that can be applied on it, we’re trying to do that, but it’s obviously not worked so far yet.”