- World Series of Darts at Hulu Theatre to be used as testing ground
- Women’s series expanding to 20 events in 2022
Eddie Hearn says taking a Premier League Darts night to New York could be an option for the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) in the future.
Having started as a UK-based tour, the Premier League now has regular stop offs in Rotterdam and Berlin among its visits to mainland Europe.
Having taken over as PDC chairman from his father Barry Hearn, Eddie wants to go further afield. Next year, the PDC is increasing its prize fund to UK£1 million (US$1.31 million) and Eddie Hearn is planning to use the World Series of Darts as a testing ground for potential expansion of the Premier League.
“I’m not saying that darts in the US has huge potential but as a focal point when we talk about getting that respect as a major global sport, we will fill up the theatre at Madison Square Garden and the Americans will not believe what they see,” said Hearn.
“The plan for us is to continue that expansion. I think the European stops have worked tremendously well for the Premier League and I was baffled by the crowd numbers, especially with the back-to-back events we had to cover in the Premier League.
“Darts has become a true global sport and the Premier League is one of the flagship events that will have appeal and demand to stage in major cities, particularly in Europe.”
Also on Eddie Hearn’s agenda is expanding the Women’s Series from 12 events to 20 in 2022, with UK£5,000 (US$6,500) of prize money available per event.
With the success of Fallon Sherrock and Lisa Ashton, Eddie Hearn says a PDC women’s world darts championship is a realistic ambition.
“It all depends on the participation numbers and also the quality. Broadcasters and fans will want to watch – it can’t be a gimmick,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “It has to be of a high level.
“The way you produce that level is to provide a consistent schedule to help people improve, grow and develop. I think a World Championship as a standalone event will work hand-in-hand.
“But right now you have the argument that there is a female player competing against the men. Is that the route you go? You have to play at a certain level and the hope is to produce more Fallon Sherrocks.”