NEXT month will mark the end of a 15-year era for darts in Barnsley after it was revealed the Metrodome will host no PDC tournaments in 2024 - and estimations show it will leave a £1m blackhole in Barnsley’s economy.
The venue has hosted PDC tournaments since 2009, but after a number of events take place next month the world’s top darting stars won’t be making an appearance again.
The Chronicle understands that at each PDC event in Barnsley, around 200 to 250 people arrive in the town for the tournament.
The majority of those in attendance will stay at a hotel in the town centre, with a going rate at around £90 per night.
Over the year, it’s estimated that around £500,000 is spent on overnight stays in the town - with an additional half a million pounds spent on the nightime economy, such as restaurants and pubs.
A spokesperson for the Metrodome told the Chronicle the move away from the town won’t just affect the venue.
“When you’ve got 200 to 250 people arriving in the town for the event - with darts players and members of their team - then it’s not just going to hurt the Metrodome,” they said.
“There’s hotels, restaurants and bars in the mix.”
The Queen’s Road site has undoubtedly been a staple of the darts calendar for the last 15 years - and a venue where many of the greats have picked up their first wins.
Darts legend Phil Taylor won three ranking tournaments in Barnsley, Michael van Gerwen 12.
Big names like Michael Smith, James Wade, Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis, Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld won tournaments there.
Joe Cullen, Luke Humphries, Daryl Gurney, Nathan Aspinall and Simon Whitlock all won their very first PDC title in Barnsley.
But PDC TV commentator Paul Nicholson said next month’s events will be the last in Barnsley due to the size of the Metrodome.
He said: “Back in 2009, there was plenty of space to host PDC events and vast distances between the boards and I remember thinking ‘wow, what a place this is, it’s huge’.
“But as the years went on, because of the amount of people in there and the introduction of the streaming boards, the room suddenly started to get smaller.
“That’s essentially the reason why the Metrodome can’t host these events anymore - it’s just not big enough.”
But there’s still four more events being held in Barnsley next month, from November 1 to November 3 - and a final World Championship tour card holder qualifier on the 27th.
Paul said he hopes the PDC will do something to commemorate the last event - but admits there’s not likely to be any tears shed over the move.
“I hope the PDC mark the occasion in some way because a lot has happened under its roof,” he added.
“The greatest players ever have graced the room.
“Careers have started and ended there.
“It might be pushing it to say there won’t be a dry in the house when Barnsley hosts its final event - but the guys who put up all the boards are from Hull, so they’ll probably miss the shorter trip here.
“But I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone just turns up, plays, then leaves.”
Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton described the PDC’s decision as a blow for the town’s hospitality trade.
He added: “Barnsley has a long-standing association with the sport ot darts and it will be sad to see that come to an end, especially given the surge in the sport’s popularity over the last decade or so.
“The PDC visits are good for business and play a part in putting Barnsley on the map. The Metrodome and the town are often name-checked during coverage of darts on TV, radio and in newspapers.”