Amid growing speculation this week, the BDO confirmed yesterday morning that they were switching venues for this year’s World Trophy, from the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester to the Lakeside Country Club at Frimley Green.
216 miles separates the two venues, and with the tournament set to take place in four weeks, it is another sorry chapter in what has been a difficult year for the BDO.
Already this year the BDO has seen two events fall by the wayside. The Players Championship and Festival of Darts tournaments were both cancelled, and after a press conference by the organisation was called off at the final hour earlier this month, many darts fans were fearing the worst for this year’s World Trophy.
Alarm bells were ringing even more when Eventim took down World Trophy tickets from their website on Thursday.
Rumours circulated around social media and on darts forums that the World Trophy was set to change venues to the Lakeside.
And yesterday morning those rumours were confirmed as the BDO announced the Surrey venue was now going to stage the event.
With the first day of play set for May 28, it is expected many of the players and fans would have already booked transport and hotels to attend the event at its original location in Manchester.
Fans will have also purchased tickets on the Eventim website to watch the action inside the Victoria Warehouse, and as we went to press there has been no indication of if/when they can be refunded.
With the lack of information made available for the World Trophy so far, darts fans would have been wise to have approached attending this event with caution, seeing as the BDO have already had two tournaments cancelled in the last few months.
And the fact that the BDO have barely been publicising tickets were on sale for the World Trophy indicates there was some doubt as to whether it would go ahead.
Ticket details for the change in venue had yet to be announced as we went to press yesterday evening, but time is running out for them to shift the seats for the three days.
A half-empty Lakeside is not the image the BDO will want to have for one of their premier events, especially if the rumours are true and they have still secured UK television coverage.
The Darts Forum is reporting that Dave will be showing live coverage, which will no doubt be one of the brighter things to come out of a tournament that will always be remembered for the wrong reasons.
Darts fans will be pleased the event is still going ahead, but don’t expect an apology anytime soon.