Last weekend, four Players Championship tournaments were played in Barnsley. Two more Players Championship tournaments, a qualifying tournament for the Grand Slam of Darts and finally a World Championship qualifying tournament for Tour Card holders will follow in November, but after that it will be over and done with for the Barnsley Metrodome.
This venue has hosted PDC tournaments since 2009. Many careers have started and ended at the Barnsley Metrodome, where many of the sport’s greats also won multiple titles. Darts legend Phil Taylor won three ranking tournaments in Barnsley, Michael van Gerwen even twelve. Also big names like Michael Smith, James Wade, Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis, Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld won tournaments there. Joe Cullen, Luke Humphries, Daryl Gurney, Nathan Aspinall and Simon Whitlock even won their very first PDC title in Barnsley.
Paul Nicholson, currently working as a commentator for PDC TV, explains in his column for SportingLife.com why the PDC will not return to Barnsley in 2024.
”Back in 2009, there was plenty of space to host PDC events and vast distances between the boards and I remember thinking ‘wow, what a place this is, it’s huge!'” The Asset recalls. “But as the years went on, because of the amount of people in there and the introduction of the streaming boards, the room suddenly started to get smaller.”
”And now that the PDC have four streaming boards, it’s got even more cramped compared to the other venues such as the Morningside Arena in Leicester and the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, which are more fit for purpose.”
”That’s essentially the reason why the Metrodome can’t host these events anymore. It’s just not big enough,” Nicholson concludes. “The sport has progressed so much with streaming boards – and the public are hankering for more matches to be viewed. This room just can’t get bigger.”
“It might be pushing it to say there won’t be a dry in the house when Barnsley hosts its final event. I hope the PDC mark the occasion in some way because a lot has happened under this roof. The greatest players ever have graced the room. Careers have started and ended there. But I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone just turns up, plays, then leaves.”