Last year’s PDC World Darts Championship final attracted more people to pubs than any Champions League game in December 2016 according to Ipsos MORI’s out of home viewing panel.
Compulsory faux-stag-do fancy-dress aside, the atmosphere of watching the World Darts Championships live at Alexandra Palace, north London, is regularly likened to that of a pub. This gives landlords a unique opportunity to offer the next best place to witness the drama of the darts unfold this year.
Last year’s champion Michael van Gerwen faces stiff competition from the likes of Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis as he looks to defend his crown.
However, this year’s championships are particularly poignant for arguably the greatest player to ever throw darts, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, as it will showcase the 17-time World Championship winner’s last professional trip to the oche before he retires.
There are a few creative touches that pubs can introduce for this year’s championship to help recreate the Ally Pally atmosphere in their pub. Free handouts like foam fingers and placards, as well as drink offers replicating those available at the event itself – such as deals on lager pitchers, burgers, and hot dogs – are sure to prove popular, while sweepstake competitions can keep pubgoers engrossed.
Live action from the championships, which alongside a packed Premier League football schedule has become a sporting staple over the festive period, runs from 14 December until 1 January and will be broadcast on Sky Sports for the 25th year.
Sky Sports Arena will become Sky Sports Darts for the duration of the tournament, which gets under way with a preview show live from the Alexandra Palace at 6.30pm on 14 December with the action from the oche starting at 7pm.