Posted By Sean Meyer
The best dart players in the world are coming to London this summer and John McGregor couldn’t be happier.
John, sales manager at London-based British Darts and Games, the largest dart supplier in Canada, was at a tournament not too long ago when he started talking to an official with the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) who had the first ever Canadian stop on their tour in Kitchener last year. After things in Kitchener didn’t go as well as officials had hoped, John took the opportunity to start selling London.
“The PDC hold events all over, Netherlands, South America, Australia, the United States,” John says. “There is a tournament in Las Vegas that is simply huge. Well they decided to have one in Canada for the first time last year. It didn’t go as well as they hoped, so I spoke up about London.
“We have an international airport, the hotels, and the most fabulous leagues in London. So we contacted the London Economic Development Corp. which helped us put together some meetings; that was December 2008. Tourism London did a lot to help. We came up with a plan; the PDC liked it; they have signed a three-year deal to have their event here in London.”
The PDC Players Championship and the accompanying London Ontario Open will take place Aug. 14-16 at the Hilton London.
The PDC Players Championship will attract among the very best players in the world to compete for a prize pool of almost $40,000. When including the Friday Draw Doubles tournament (where professionals can be paired up with local competitors) on Friday, Aug. 14, and the London Ontario Open (a tournament where anyone can sign up), on Saturday, Aug. 15, the prize pool climbs to over $47,000.
Prize money for the events is based on pounds sterling; therefore the actual prize amounts in Canadian dollars may fluctuate.
“This is going to be an amazing event,” John says. “We are really proud to have it in London. It’s difficult to tell (how many people might come), but 800 people attended last year’s event in Kitchener. We have already had more exposure than they got last year. We have sent information to our clients across the country. There are people talking about it. There is a real excitement for this event.
“We have very competent local players, we have tremendous players too. I think it will be great for people to get involved in the Friday blind draw where they can be partnered with one of the top players in the world. On the Saturday is the first London Open, which is open to anyone. And with entry fees of $15-$20, there really will be something for everyone.”
For example, it will cost $20 for someone to sign up for the men’s singles tournament at the London Ontario Open and the opportunity to win the $400 first prize.
It is the PDC championship however John is most excited about.
“Sunday is the PDC shoot, it’s open to the public at large if you have the $160 entry fee. That one you have to register ahead of time, but for everything else you can just come out the day of,” John says. “People are going to see the pros from Canada, the U.S., Holland, France, Australia. These are the people coming to this shoot. They all want to play the big tournaments and that’s what this is.”
WANT MORE INFO?
¦ The London Ontario Open and Professional Darts Corporation Players Championship takes place Aug. 14-16 at the Hilton London. For more information or to register, phone 1-800-688-3278 or visit www.bullseyenews.com. Registration deadline is Aug. 11.
Article ID# 1564372
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