The PDC have confirmed that the 2020 Betfred World Matchplay will take place on July 18-26 as originally scheduled.
The coveted 32-player tournament – second only to the World Championship in terms of prestige, is set to be the first televised PDC tournament to take place since events were suspended following the coronavirus pandemic.
The PDC are currently working alongside government authorities to determine whether the event can be staged at the iconic Winter Gardens with a crowd in attendance, and a decision on that will be made by July 4.
If this is not possible, the World Matchplay will be staged behind closed doors at an appropriate venue, although the action will still be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
“It is still our intention to be able to stage the Betfred World Matchplay with a crowd and we remain in talks with all relevant parties in a bid to achieve this,” said PDC Chief Executive Matt Porter.
“We have worked hard with the venue, our broadcast partners and other parties to look at alternative dates later in the year, but with no guarantees of how restrictions may be lifted we have taken the decision to retain the original dates so that the World Matchplay can play a major part in our sport’s return to action.
“Giving fans the chance to apply for a refund for this year’s tickets or to retain their booking will give them a chance to make their own decision in relation to the event either immediately or when a final announcement is made in the coming weeks.
“The Betfred World Matchplay will be broadcast in full by Sky Sports as well as the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners, and with or without a crowd we’re working as hard as possible to make the 2020 tournament as special as ever.”
Rob Cross will be bidding to defend his Matchplay title that he secured with victory over his World Cup partner Michael Smith last year, whilst two-time world champion Gary Anderson is defending £115,000 in prize money following his famous Blackpool triumph two years ago.
The PDC are also planning to resume the Players Championship season from July onwards, subject to government approval in relation to quarantine restrictions for overseas-based players. A further announcement on that topic is expected in the coming week.
Image Credit: PDC