The 2020 World Matchplay will not take place at the historic Winter Gardens for the first time in it’s history and will instead be held behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes from July 18-26.

The PDC have revealed that they have held talks with the UK Government’s Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), the venue; as well as host broadcaster Sky Sports and other stakeholders; in order for the event to be held safely at the Winter Gardens.

But this is not possible; as a result the Marshall Arena which will hold the Summer Series next week will be the venue with it providing a safe bubble for players.

It has previously been used for Championship League Snooker; as well as like alluded to, it will be tested next week with five Players Championship events under a darting environment.

“Tough decision has been made”

PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter admitted that while it was a “tough decision” to make that all efforts were utilised to host it in it’s usual venue in Blackpool.

“This is an unprecedented step for us to take and this tough decision has been made only after exhausting all possible options in a bid to stage the Betfred World Matchplay with a limited crowd in Blackpool.”

“We thank the DCMS for their co-operation throughout the process and also the Winter Gardens and Blackpool Council, who remained committed to hosting the event throughout the process.

“Whilst this will be disappointing for the thousands of fans who had planned to watch the 2020 Betfred World Matchplay live in Blackpool, we will be offering those fans the chance to defer their tickets to 2021, when the tournament will return to its spiritual home.”

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Author: Samuel Gill