Leicester’s Morningside Arena to host prestigious darts event

By James Wynn

A PDC darts event will come to Leicester for the first time in October, with the Morningside Arena hosting the Paddy Power Champions League.

On the weekend of October 19 to 20, the arena, usually used to host Leicester Riders, Britain’s oldest basketball club, will be transformed into a venue fitting of the eight top darts players in the world come the end of September.

Events manager for the arena, Darren Izzard, said that the venue was ‘perfect’ for the occasion.

“I think it’s an exceptional thing for Leicester as a city,” he said.

“It’s a massive thing to get the absolute elite of a sport plying their trade here.”

As well as basketball, since its opening in 2016, the arena has hosted boxing, karate and wheelchair rugby.

It will be completely transformed for the event, and planning is already underway for the event in eight months’ time.

“It’ll be a completely different set up, one that we’ve not been used to before,” Mr Izzard said.

“Lots and lots of things are in the pipeline, but so far the excitement generated from the initial launch has been massive.”

Excitement has also been generated by an incentive from sponsors Paddy Power, where £100,000 will be split between the crowd should a 9-dart-finish be achieved. Mr Izzard hoped that this would build the atmosphere in the arena.

“I was hoping that incentive stretched to staff,” he joked.

“If that was to happen, once we get to seven darts, eight darts, the atmosphere within the arena, with people knowing there’s an incentive for them, should be electric.”

More than 2,000 tickets are available per session for the weekend, and information will shortly be released on the PDC website and can also be found at leicesterarena.co.uk.

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