The British Darts Organisation (BDO) announced in July that, in 2020, the BDO World Darts Championship will move from Lakeside Country Club to the Indigo – a venue at the O2 Arena in London.
Lakeside has played host to the tournament since 1986, therefore, the move garnered mixed reactions in the darts world. The decision left some fans distraught that the Frimley Green location will no longer be used for the biggest event on the organisation’s calendar, while others remain excited by the potential the new arena offers.
The O2 Indigo will be the fourth venue to play host to this major tournament; in its inaugural year of 1978, it was held at the Heart of the Midlands Club, now a music venue named Rock City, which stands in Nottingham city centre. From 1979 through to 1985, the event was hosted in Stoke at Jollees before settling at Lakeside in 1986.
VENUE CONFIRMATION – 2020 BDO WORLD PROFESSIONAL DARTS CHAMPIONSHIPS— BDO Darts (@BDOdarts) August 2, 2019
We are delighted to confirm that the 2020 BDO World Professional Darts Championships will be moving to Indigo at the O2, London @indigoatTheO2
Follow here for more information…https://t.co/I1nYypwaUm pic.twitter.com/tyaCBe4nGv
The new venue for the world championship has the capacity to hold 2,800 spectators, proving a huge upgrade from Lakeside. Tickets have yet to go on sale for the 2020 tournament, however, organisers are expecting numbers to be positive, hoping that the new venue serves to introduce new audiences to the championship this year.
Glen Durrant has been the raining champion of the BDO World Darts Championship for the last three years, however, Newcastle-born Durrant will not be defending his trophy in 2020 as a result of his move to PDC earlier this year. Duzza will instead feature at the Alexandra Palace for the PDC world championship, where oddsmakers have set his odds at 22/1 in the darts betting of winning this year’s title.
After winning 3 back-to-back titles as the BDO World Darts Champion, Glen Durrant is looking forward to what lies ahead with the PDC. We are honoured to sponsor Glen and know he has an exciting future ahead!
After winning 3 back-to-back titles as the BDO World Darts Champion, Glen Durrant is looking forward to what lies ahead with the PDC. We are honoured to sponsor Glen and know he has an exciting future ahead! #Tea mTarget— Target Darts (@TargetDarts) June 3, 2019
What Darts will Glen play with? Stay tuned… pic.twitter.com/SCnrdU6cYD
The absence of Durrant means that the tournament at Indigo is set to be anyone’s game in January. Two-time semi-finalist, Wesley Harms, will be expected to have a strong run once again, after already winning five tournaments so far in 2019 – including the England National Championships and Scottish Open. Former Lakeside winners Scott Mitchell and Scott Waites are sure to be fancied to regain their crown, while Dutchman Richard Veenstra has also been tipped to be a future winner of the event.
The World Trophy is the next major event on the BDO calendar and will take place this year at Blackburn’s King George’s Hall from August 30. It has also been announced that the new venue will be the home of the tournament for the next three years. Durrant beat Michael Unterbuchner in the 2018 final, landing the first place cash prize of £35,000.
In what has been a sudden shake-up of the locations of the major tournaments this year, as well as BDO, The World Masters, which begins in October, will also have a new home in 2019 at the Circus Tavern. The Essex venue has a rich history in darts as it held the PDC World Darts Championship from 1994 through to 2007 before its move to the Alexandra Palace in London.
The BDO have had to overcome some recent turmoil with the resignation of several officials over their decisions this year, however, they are hoping this new phase for the organisation will be a positive one.