Ally Pally bosses score a bullseye by landing darts world championships
By Marijke Peters BOSSES at Ally Pally are celebrating scoring a bullseye after winning the rights to one of the world s biggest darts competitions. The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) will move the annual world championship to its new home in Decemb
By Marijke Peters
BOSSES at Ally Pally are celebrating scoring a bullseye after winning the rights to one of the world's biggest darts competitions.
The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) will move the annual world championship to its new home in December this year, trebling the event's capacity to 2,500.
The prize money for the prestigious contest will also increase to £1million by 2010.
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Ally Pally general manager Keith Holder said: "I'm pleased to welcome the PDC darts tournament to Ally Pally, it's the second biggest spectator sport on Sky TV and has grown tremendously in recent years.
"I'm looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the competition's organisers. Ally Pally is the perfect venue for this competition and it's a good way of re-establishing our historic connection with darts."
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Ally Pally hosted the News of the World Darts competition for many years and PDC chairman Barry Hearn said it was "the hallowed home" of the sport.
The world championship has been held at the Circus Tavern in Essex for the past 14 years but organisers approved the move to a venue with more room for spectators.
Mr Hearn said: "This is very exciting for us. There has been a huge explosion in darts during the last two to three years and our existing venue only held 900 people. We have been selling out on the first day tickets go on sale and frankly, fans were only able to get hold of tickets on Ebay, which is not fair, it's disgraceful.
"Ally Pally has been at the back of my mind for a long time and has a strong reputation for darts."
But despite Mr Hearn's enthusiasm about the move the British Darts Organisation, based in nearby Muswell Hill, was surprisingly lukewarm in its response to the news.
BDO managing director Olly Croft OBE, said: "Our organisation has been going since 1976 and is more important than the PDC. We stage 800 events in the year and have 63 member countries so as a body we are far bigger.
"We don't feel threatened by this at all - it will have no impact on the BDO at all."