This year’s World Grand Prix will not take place at its longtime home as it prepares to welcome refugees from Ukraine.
One of the major darts tournaments, the Grand Prix, was held at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin between 2001 and 2019. For the past two years it has been played in Coventry and Leicester due to the pandemic but had to return to the Irish. capital in October.
However, CityWest is now ready to accommodate Ukrainians who have been displaced by the ongoing Russian invasion. Talks have taken place between the Irish government and the hotel about hosting refugees for up to two years.
As a result, the venue would not be available to host the Grand Prix and ticket sales have been suspended while new plans are made. PDC chief executive Matt Porter said it was unlikely another suitable venue could be found in Dublin at such short notice, meaning the event could be held in England for the third year consecutive.
“It doesn’t look great for CityWest [to host the Grand Prix this year]he told Online Darts TV. “Look, what they’re going to do is fantastic on a humanitarian level, which goes well beyond darts, and it’s only right that they do it. But it presents us with a challenge to provide a venue for the Grand World Prize.”
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On the prospect of staying in Dublin, Porter added: “If we can, [but] availability is limited, especially since booking a venue for 10 days with four months notice is no easy task. There are not many rooms. The three arenas in Dublin are impractical, they are way too big and anyway they will be booked for at least two or three of the dates.
“We have already looked for alternatives. We know it can work in Leicester because we’ve done it there before. [in 2021]. We have irons in the fire but it would be nice to have an event in Ireland. It’s just difficult over a week to find a place in such a short time.
Jonny Clayton won last year’s Grand Prix, beating fellow Welshman Gerwyn Price in the final.