Search

Alexandra Palace is now being ‘used properly’, says sports promoter Barry Hearn

PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 January 2014 | UPDATED: 08:43 04 January 2014

Barry Hearn

Barry Hearn

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Barry Hearn says Alexandra Palace has “sadly been underused over the years” but that it is now being “used properly” as the Muswell Hill venue hosts a string of major sporting events at the start of 2014.

The Ladbrokes World Darts Championships came to an end late on New Years Day, with Dutchman Michael van Gerwen being crowned champion after 16 days of competition, which saw 50,000 people visiting the venue.

Hearn is the chairman of Matchroom Sports, who have promoted the event – in addition to other sporting spectacles at Ally Pally. The World Ping Pong Championships will take place this weekend and, later in the month, the Masters snooker tournament will also be held in north London.

Hearn says the arena holds special memories for him, and that he is delighted to see so many people coming through its doors.

“I go back a long way with this building,” said the 65-year-old. “When I was 21 years old I took my final accountants exam here and I walked up that hill every day. I had broken my leg playing football so I had to come up on crutches for the first three days.

“It’s nice for me as an individual to revisit my youth and to remember good feelings. We have created some good events here and everyone’s a winner - people get great value for money and The People’s Palace’ is used properly.

“Ally Pally is a great venue that has sadly been underused over the years but, with the new management that is in place now, they’ve seen the opportunity and it’s good business. We know we’re going to get a crowd and they know they’re going to get a crowd.

“Bringing the World Darts Championship to Alexandra Palace was a bit special. Going back between 1963 and 1977 the News of the World Championships were staged here.

“It was actually then the venue for darts, so all we have really done is look back through the history books and copied it.

Hearn added: “Alexandra Palace has become a little bit of a Matchroom home at the moment. You can’t say how long it’s going to last but at the moment we are working as a very good partnership. We love this arena, it’s a lovely historic building in London and it does seem to create a great atmosphere.

“The World Darts Championship is here for the next few years, guaranteed. This weekend we start the World Ping Pong Championships, which is a new event but it’s growing and looks as if it could get bigger and bigger - and then of course we have the Masters snooker. We have also hosted some Prizefighter boxing events here as well.”

0 comments

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 16:00

Pre-season friendly: Gillingham Ladies 1 Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 6

Yesterday, 13:00

Natwest T20 Blast: Somerset (166-5) beat Middlesex (162-6) by five wickets

Yesterday, 12:00

No matches played to a conlusion across all three divisions on Saturday

Yesterday, 10:30

Pre-season friendly: Tottenham Hotspur 4 Paris Saint-Germain 2

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Natwest T20 Blast: Surrey (156-7) beat Middlesex (141-7) by 15 runs

Friday, July 21, 2017

England left-back has not played for the club since January, but appears to be making good progress

Friday, July 21, 2017

Forward suffered serious injury earlier this year and ‘came very close to dying’

PROMOTED CONTENT

Navigating divorce or separation when there are children involved can be emotionally difficult and confusing for everyone involved. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now