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

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

11:30

Extra £410,000 to identify and support young talent

Yesterday, 12:29

All eyes will be on London North West Three where Hackney Rugby Club could potentially win the title if they comfortably beat bottom of the table Staines.

Yesterday, 09:37

Islington and Camden’s two District Primary School teams played out a pulsating semi-final in the Kay Trophy at Chase Lodge – with Islington just getting through on penalties.

Yesterday, 09:36

A school in Hampstead is ready to claim national glory at a major table tennis tournament.

Wed, 16:30

Kane will have to watch from his TV tonight as ‘unbelievable’ Dele Alli looks to improve his goalscoring record at international level

Wed, 12:00

Hendon manager Gary McCann has called on his side to remain focussed after a 2-1 victory over play-off chasing Needham Market.

Wed, 11:46

Both ladies and men’s first teams at Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club suffered defeats to high-flying Wimbledon – both by the same 2-1 score.

Wed, 06:00

Hendon kept themselves firmly in the fight to avoid relegation with an impressive 2-1 win at home to play-off chasing Needham Market.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

The Ham&High has teamed up with Weber® to celebrate the launch of its innovative Genesis® II collection at Weber® World at Sunshine Garden Centre in London.

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