The World Grand Prix took place in Leicester over the last week and despite staying in the Midlands city next year, PDC Chief Executive Matt Porter still harbours ambitions of a return to the Emerald Isle as well as ruling out further exemptions for the WDF and Grand Slam invites.
"It doesn't mean we don't want to go back. We do want to go back to Ireland, we do want to have one of our bigger events in Ireland away from the one night Premier League. There aren't many venues, if anybody knows of a really good 4-5,000 seater venue in Ireland, please send me the details. Because there are so few venues, they get booked up early. We need a 10-day tenancy which isn't easier, we need it in a specific week. We are keen to do something in Ireland," said Porter to Online Darts.
Germany European Tour
Criticism has been levied at the PDC for using Germany for 3/4 of the European Tour next season instead of going to new territories but Porter doesn't see the issue it poses and believes that it is right for Germany to have most events.
"This year was the first year of Euro Tour after COVID, in people's everyday lives COVID may seem a long way in the past but in the world of event organisation, it's still been an issue to deal with because everything's planned one or two years in advance. The events next year, a lot of them were planned last year.
"Germany is a massive market, it's a massive darts country. It's the centre of continental Europe, geographically it's right for the majority of events to be staged in. By doing one event in Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic - smaller countries, smaller populations, smaller demand for darts. We will do one event and do it really well. Do we want to do other countries yes, but it has to be the right time with the right partners in the right venue."
This year's WDF World Championship saw an exemption for those wanting to compete in both but that won't be here to stay according to Porter with no grounds for a further one next year or future Grand Slam invites.
"It was a one off due to COVID rescheduling. We've got enough players coming from different aspects of our own system, I've been quite consistent on this for the last couple of years. We want to reward players in our system, I don't see enough compelling evidence at the moment to take players from outside our system."
"In the past, there was real strength and depth in the BDO system. We had some good players come through, many of them came over. Now we have our own system that has a strength in depth. If you're playing on one of these other circuits, you're probably playing on the Challenge Tour as well or the Women's Series so the whole reason of us developing a structure was to give players at all levels the opportunity to integrate with us."
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