Lancashire’s World Matchplay darts may be moved from July slot

The Professional Darts Corporation is still hoping to stage the 2020 Betfred World Matchplay in Lancashire this July but has warned the event could be postponed until later in the year.

By Andy Moore
Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 8:23 am
Former champion Phil Taylor (Getty Images)
Former champion Phil Taylor (Getty Images)

The Blackpool Winter Gardens spectacular has been held annually since 1994, though the pandemic has cast doubt over this summer’s 27th World Matchplay.

A PDC statement reads: “As with all PDC tournaments at present, we remain in regular contact with the UK Government in relation to updates regarding regulations and are constantly monitoring the global situation. At present, the 2020 Betfred World Matchplay remains scheduled for July 18-26 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, and we continue to work with all relevant parties towards achieving this if possible.

“However, the PDC plans to confirm on or before June 5 a decision in relation to the planned July dates for this event. We appreciate that the current global restrictions give cause for concern amongst fans who have purchased tickets for this event.

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“Should restrictions mean that the July dates are not possible, it would be the PDC’s plan to rearrange the Betfred World Matchplay for a date later in 2020.”

All PDC Tour events and Players’ Championships for May and June have been called off, as has next month’s BetVictor World Cup of Darts.

Fans have been able to get their fix of oche action via the PDC Home Tour, with matches broadcast from players’ houses via live video calls.

The World Matchplay was won 16 times by Phil Taylor between 1995 and 2017. In the last two years, it has crowned first-time winners in Gary Anderson and Rob Cross.