2021 UK Open set to be played behind closed doors in Milton Keynes | Dartsnews.com

2021 UK Open set to be played behind closed doors in Milton Keynes

The 2021 UK Open is set to be played behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes during the usual dates of March 5-7.

Usually played at Butlin's Minehead, the tournament could not be staged with a crowd due to ongoing restrictions around the Coronavirus pandemic so it will now be moved to Milton Keynes for this year.

As a result also of the current UK lockdown, it will not be possible to stage amateur qualifiers at Riley's Sports Bars as in previous years.

The qualification criteria has been slightly altered as a result with the 128 PDC Tour Card holders joined by 32 additional qualifiers.

These come from the top eight players from the 2020 Development Tour and 2020 Challenge Tour Order of Merit who don't come through Q-School and remain PDPA Associate Members as a result in 2021.

There is also an added caveat for Q-School players with the top eight players not to gain a Tour Card from both UK and European also gaining a spot.

"We share the disappointment of players and fans that the 2021 Ladbrokes UK Open will not be able to be staged in its popular home at the Butlin's Minehead Resort in front of a live crowd this March," said PDC chief executive Matt Porter.

"The UK Open forms an important part of the PDC calendar and it is appropriate that this retains it place in March this year.

"We're pleased to be able to keep the spirit of the UK Open alive by incorporating amateur players, even though we are unfortunately not able to stage qualifying events with Rileys this year due to the current circumstances.

"As always we'll be playing across eight stages simultaneously on the opening day, and I'm sure that the excitement and drama will remain for everyone watching the coverage around the world throughout the tournament."

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