The Premier League will head to Germany for the first time next year as darts continues to expand its horizons throughout Europe.
The PDC stars already travel far and wide, with tournaments in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, and the hugely popular Premier League will now make its debut in Germany at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Thursday February 22.
Gone are the days of just a few high-profile events all being staged in England, as the four-month roadshow takes in places such as Dublin, Cardiff, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast and Rotterdam.
Those who like a punt should check out Bethut for all the best sites and markets available on all the top tournaments.
2018 Premier League Dates & Venues
|Round One||1st February||3Arena Dublin|
|Round Two||8th February||Motorpoint Arena Cardiff|
|Round Three||15th February||Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle|
|Round Four||22nd February||Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin|
|Round Five||1st March||Westpoint Arena, Exeter|
|Round Six||8th March||First Direct Arena, Leeds|
|Round Seven||15th March||Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham|
|Round Eight||22nd March||The SSE Hydro, Glasgow|
|Round Nine||29h March||The SSE Arena, Belfast|
|Round Ten||5th April||Echo Arena, Liverpool|
|Round 11||12th April||The Sheffield Arena|
|Round 12||19th April||Rotterdam Ahoy|
|Round 13||26th April||The Manchester Arena|
|Round 14||3rd May||The Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham|
|Round 15||10th May||The BHGE Arena, Aberdeen|
|Play-Off||17th May||The O2, London|
Darts has become a global sport and that is something that is reflected in the nations now represented at the biggest tournaments
British players have traditionally dominated the oche while the likes of Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen have flown the flag for the Netherlands, but Austrian duo Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez plus Cristo Reyes of Spain are regulars on the circuit.
Add to that the Huybrechts brothers from Belgium plus talented German youngster Max Hopp, and it is obvious that the sport is thriving across the continent.
There is every reason to suggest that there will be more and more players who emerge from around Europe to challenge the top stars as the riches now on offer mean that the sport can provide a decent income.
Television coverage is vital for the game’s expansion and Sky Sports provide a superb service for most of the tournaments, with the BBC now on board at the Champions League of Darts and ITV also showing a few events.
But it is not just the high-profile events that take place outside of the British Isles as the 2018 World Cup of Darts is scheduled to take place from May 31-June 3 in Frankfurt, with European Tour events in Gibraltar, Copenhagen and Hamburg to follow.
Van Gerwen’s rise to the top of the sport over the past three years has undoubtedly taken darts to a new level in Holland and the noise levels when he and ‘Barney’ entered the Ahoy Rotterdam in March was unprecedented in Premier League history.
Should Hopp manage to sneak a place in the 2018 edition then it will be similar experience for the man from Idstein.
The ridiculous debate over whether darts is actually a creditable sport is now well and truly in the past and a glance at the sold-out venues around Europe proves that fans do not care anyway.
They flock in their thousands to watch players who are reaching heights hitherto unseen in the sport.
Averages continue to rise, three-figure check-outs are commonplace and the odd nine-darter always brings the house down.
Darts will be losing the greatest player ever to throw tungsten when Phil Taylor calls time on his illustrious career after the World Championship and it cannot be stated enough how much ‘The Power’ has done for the sport.
The 16-time world champion has overseen a transition from a few hundred spectators watching in smoke-filled rooms to huge venues around the world and the Stoke legend will be able to hang up his darts safe in the knowledge that the game is in good hands and thriving globally.