Marshalling The Matchplay – Venue Change Looking Likely.

Despite the overwhelming desire of most players and fans, it is looking less and less likely that the World Matchplay will be held at its traditional home. Although it has not yet been completely ruled out, The Winter Gardens will pose many challenges that can be solved by alternate, more self-contained, venues.

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens may not host the 2020 World Matchplay. (Pic:PDC)

Speaking to ‘Online darts’, Matt Porter (PDC Chief Executive) extolled the virtues of the Marshall arena in Milton Keynes. It is clear that the snooker event played there recently, also under the Matchroom management, and that the PDC has been closely involved with such event planning.

Matt confirmed to Online Darts:

“I worked very closely with the guys at World Snooker. They are following a very similar model to what we intended to.”

It’s clear that Matchroom, the PDC, and World Snooker have put a huge amount of effort into envisaging how closed-door, “bubble-style”, events could be made to work.

Porter concluded:

” The Marshall arena is the perfect location to create a bubble venue. Hotel onsite….excellent transport links and centrally located”

“We get on very well with the management team: they are fully on board with what we are trying to achieve”

From the above and signals coming from Barry Hearn, and others, it seems, barring a late and dramatic change in the regulations that the Marshall Arena team are in pole position to hold this iconic event for the 2020 staging.