Ashdown on securing return of Lakeside as WDF World Championship venue: "It was the number one target"

The big announcement of the WDF World Championship being fully confirmed for early 2022 saw also the return revealed of the iconic Lakeside, known by many as the home of World Darts.

Richard Ashdown over the years has been the Master of Ceremonies up until the BDO moved to the Indigo at the O2 before their demise and now takes on the role of Chief Development Officer for the WDF.

'Little Richard' spoke to the Inside the WDF podcast after the announcement about the process behind the return to amateur darts' spiritual home.

"It was the number one target. I think as soon as we saw how things had gone at the Indigo in early 2020, we very quickly spoke to the Lakeside bearing in mind at that point, we didn't know what was going to happen with the future of the BDO. All we were looking at from the WDF's point of view was taking responsibility for the major events going forward so of course Lakeside was always a big part of that plan," said Ashdown to Inside the WDF podcast.

Lakeside 'suits the finale better than anywhere else'

For Ashdown also there was no other venues really in the running with Lakeside seen as the best place in the WDF's eyes to host the tournament.

"The clue is in the tagline. I think Lakeside of all venues in the WDF system should be and is the championship that all the players from all around the world aspire to and want to play in. The Lakeside is the Emerald City at the end of the Yellow Brick Road that they travel with all the points and all the tournaments they attend. I think Lakeside suits the finale better than anywhere else."

Coverage accessible for all

Also in the deal, it was revealed that Eurosport and Discovery + would be taking coverage in UK as well as in Europe but for those who cannot watch it, the plan is seemingly for the YouTube streams to return which were utilised in the BDO days.

"We're going to make sure that anyone in the world can pick it up somehow. I'm probably not the best person to ask the detail of the contracts regarding broadcast country by country but we will take responsibility for wherever fans are in the world, they will be able to see it one way or another."

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WDF Lakeside Richard Ashdown

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