Wolverhampton ready to host this year's Grand Slam of Darts at new venue
This is what Aldersley Leisure Village could look like when it’s transformed into the home of darts later this year.
The Wolverhampton venue is set to play host to the Grand Slam of Darts when the contest rolls back into the city in November.
A new artist’s impression of the venue has been revealed, showing what merrymakers could expect during the major sporting event.
Wolverhampton council had to find an alternate venue for this year’s event while refurbishment works at the city’s Civic Hall continue. The Grand Slam of Darts has been held at the Civic for the last 11 years.
Councillor John Reynolds, Wolverhampton council’s cabinet member for city economy, described the return of the darts as ‘great news’,
He said: “The Grand Slam of Darts puts the city on the map, is watched by millions of people across the globe and attracts thousands of visitors to the city.
“It is great news that we have been able to keep this key event in the city and this artist’s impression shows what fans attending the Grand Slam of Darts at Aldersley Leisure Village can look forward to.”
The sporting stars are set to stop by in the city for the 32-player tournament from November 10 to 18.
The Sky Sports-televised event will see players split into eight groups of four for the round-robin phase during the opening four days.
The top two players from each group will then progress to the knockout phase before the tournament concludes with the semi-finals and final on the last day.
Barry Hearn, the chairman of the Professional Darts Corporation, described the support from Wolverhampton as ‘great’ and said Aldersley Leisure Village would prove a ‘popular new home’ for the Grand Slam this year.
He said: “The bwin Grand Slam of Darts is synonymous with being held in Wolverhampton, and though the Wolves Civic is currently closed it’s great that we can keep the tournament within the city.
“We’ve received great support from fans in the West Midlands and Wolverhampton council over the past decade, and I’m sure that the Aldersley Leisure Village will prove a popular new home for the event this year.” Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen will headline the field of stars competing in the contest, alongside PDC World Champion Rob Cross and British Darts Organisation Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant.
Gary Anderson, 2018 UK Open champion, eccentric player Peter Wright, and reigning World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh will also take part.
Wolverhampton council has said it will be providing return coach travel from the city centre to the Aldersley venue for £2 advance tickets.
Tickets can be purchased from Wolves Civic Box Office by calling 0870 320 7000 or from the box office at Lichfield Street’s Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Disabled Access Tickets are available by calling 01902 55 0969.
As well as the darts moving to Aldersley Leisure Village, big name comedy acts that were booked in to perform at the Civic have also been moved.
Sarah Millican is performing three nights in the city in November, with the likes of Jason Manford, Birmingham-born Joe Lycett, Dave Gorman and Paul Foot all performing in the city in the same month.
Wolverhampton council, which has come under intense scrutiny for the Civic revamp, approved the moves to Aldersley in order to avoid risking losing the events to other venues outside of the city.
Wolverhampton council originally said revamping the iconic Civic Hall would cost £14.4 million, with the venue reopening in October 2017 after work began just months earlier in January.
However the cost has now spiralled to a whopping £38.1 million with the Civic not due open until the Autumn of 2020.
A report into what went wrong with the revamp revealed that decisions were ‘rushed’ after delays in the design process and that there was ‘inadequate’ project management.
The council’s failings on the project have previously been described as ‘incompetence’ and ‘appalling neglect’.