The PDC have confirmed that the Champions League and the Grand Slam of Darts will both be held at new venues later this year.
The BBC-televised Champions League of Darts will be held at the Brighton Centre this September. The previous two stagings of this competition have been held in Cardiff, but the PDC is making a return to the south-coast.
Brighton has regularly hosted Premier League nights since first hosting the Premier League back in 2007, yet the introduction of Berlin to the Premier League schedule in 2018 saw Brighton replaced for that event. Nevertheless, it will now be hosting the Champions League of Darts from September 22nd-23rd.
The eight-player tournament sees two groups of four facing off across the opening three sessions, before the top two players from each group then progress to play off for the title on Sunday evening in the semi-finals and final.
The tournament is comprised of the top eight players on the PDC Order of Merit, with the field set to be confirmed by the end of July. Reigning champion Mensur Suljovic will be joined by world number one Michael van Gerwen and current world champion Rob Cross, with the Scottish duo of Peter Wright and Gary Anderson also set to feature.
World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney is also expected to make his debut in this event, whilst Dave Chisnall and Simon Whitlock currently occupy the final two places in the world’s top eight. Nevertheless, Michael Smith, James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld & Gerwyn Price are all in contention to qualify for the event.
“The Champions League of Darts has become a hugely popular event since being introduced to the circuit two years ago,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
“The concept of the world’s top eight players facing off over one weekend is one which works perfectly for BBC Sport, and we feel that The Brighton Centre is an ideal venue to host the Champions League of Darts.
“With the Premier League’s growth seeing Brighton replaced on that circuit, we remained committed to taking a televised PDC event to the south coast and we’re delighted for this to be this year’s Champions League of Darts.”
Elsewhere, the Grand Slam of Darts is also set for a change of venue in 2018, although the tournament will still remain in Wolverhampton. The Grand Slam has been held at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall since the tournament’s inception in 2007, but the Wolves Civic has been closed since last year’s event for a £38m refurbishment.
Following discussions between The City of Wolverhampton Council and the PDC, it was confirmed that the event will stay in the area, with the Aldersley Leisure Village set to host the tournament from November 10th-18th later this year, as Michael van Gerwen goes in search of his fourth straight Grand Slam crown.
PDC Chairman Barry Hearn stated: “The bwin Grand Slam of Darts is synonymous with being held in Wolverhampton, and though the Wolves Civic is currently closed it’s great that we can keep the tournament within the city.
“We’ve received great support from fans in the West Midlands and the City of Wolverhampton Council over the past decade, and I’m sure that the Aldersley Leisure Village will prove a popular new home for the event this year.”
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC