A brand new World Darts Event is scheduled for Lakeside. Known as the ‘Home of World Darts‘, the first new-look Lakeside event is currently planned for Easter with tickets to go on sale by the end of November. Sources say that major new consortium seems to have joined forces with Bob Potter to bring these events to fruition.
Darts World notes some of the reactions to this news becoming public. It is not unusual for players and others involved to become instantly critical and a little tribal in response to any new initiative in our sport. However, our response, to the information we received from sources close to the matter, is that it is possible to see these events as a big boost to grassroots and mass participation darts.
“Lakeside and Bob Potter has been a friend and by far the biggest financial contributor to darts, outside the PDC, for 37 years and we are as passionate and committed to the game as anyone. In fact, the BDO was still in discussions with us to hold the World Championships at Lakeside until just before the new O2 venue was announced in early August.
This matches with our well-sourced information that it was not solely a Lakeside decision and that the BDO may have been looking for a new venue.
“However, our relationship started with Olly Croft and has always been a partnership of friends. The conversations with the new representatives from the BDO did not recognise this. So whilst still talking to the BDO we had also been working with others who had a broader vision, we had agreed to potentially sponsor and support a series of events to help everyone and try to remove the politics and entrenched positions we have seen hold back world darts for many years”.
Again this matches with the view that for too long the rival camps within darts have held back its development as a sport. It appears that new figures with determination and imaginative strategies have teamed up with an iconic venue to instigate something new.
“Following the O2 announcement we decided to hold fire on our support to see what happened with the BDO event. After 2 months with no confirmation, there was going to be an event and no tickets being put on sale we decided, with our new partners, to announce an event in January to ensure there would definitely be a Championship this Xmas.”
More evidence here of a sensible approach that may enable a new stream of darts opportunities for players and all others involved in the game.
“Now that the tickets have gone on sale and there is definitely going to be an event we do not wish to compete with or damage the BDO after 4 decades of being their biggest supporter. However, based on the feedback following our previous announcement and the exciting possibilities presented by our new partners we have decided to announce a new event next year which will hopefully be just the start of new broader support of Darts”.
“We and our partners are putting on a totally open and non-tribal event which will feature the top players from all bodies and codes worldwide (not including PDC tour cardholders) who will compete for over £200,000 in Prize money.”
It seems from this section that Lakeside and some forward-thinking folk are hoping to develop much more than a one-off event and may have long term goals of which this is merely the first stage.
“So we look forward to supporting a new exciting phase for darts, continuing to be its biggest partner and friend while remaining the Home of World Darts“.
Darts World suggests that all those who, like us, ‘Champion the Sport of Darts’ may wish to take a longer view and see this as possibly the start of something new and complementary to the current infrastructure of the game. Who knows perhaps it could, one day, bring them together.