The future of the British Darts Organisation’s (BDO) World Darts Championship is uncertain after just 15 per cent of available tickets were shifted.
The competition, which kicked off on Saturday and ends on January 12, is being held at the Indigo at The O2 in London for the first time after 33 years at the Lakeside Country Club in Surrey. The 2,800-capacity entertainment venue is located under the famous tented roof of The O2.
According to the BBC, players were warned in a letter from BDO chairman Des Jacklin that prize money would be reduced after only 15 per cent of tickets were sold and that the brand was “toxic” in some circles.
Fans across social media have been criticising the move to the new venue, with images of spectators sleeping and occasionally shots of sparse crowds during the event.
— Harrison Chesterton (@hchesterton) January 5, 2020
One fan said: “Does anyone know if the BDO have signed to hold the darts in the O2 for more than just this year? If so this will be the last nail in the coffin I think. Whoever signed off on this should be shown the door!”
The BDO debacle follows the newer Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) tournament, which welcomed record festive viewing figures.
“The BDO shouldn’t have left Lakeside until they had built up their finances – you can’t sail a ship with no wind. I feel sorry for the players,” said two-time world finalist Bobby George, according to the BBC.