Phil Taylor will begin the defence of his title in Belfast (credit:Lawrence Lustig/ PDC)
The 2013 McCoy’s Premier League Darts season will begin at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on February 7 as the £450,000 tournament commences its 15-week tour of the UK & Ireland’s biggest indoor arenas.
Eight of the world’s top players, headed by reigning Premier League Darts Phil Taylor and current World Champion Adrian Lewis, will compete in the tournament, which is screened live across 15 successive Thursday nights.
The 14-week league season, which sees players face each other twice, will begin on Thursday February 7 at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.
The Premier League road show will then travel to the AECC in Aberdeen before heading to England for league nights at the BIC in Bournemouth, Exeter’s Westpoint Arena, the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham and the Manchester Arena.
The hugely popular event then visits the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff for the seventh league night, with the SECC in Glasgow, the Brighton Centre and Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena staging further nights before the tournament returns to The O2 in Dublin, which hosted over 9,000 fans and witnessed an incredible atmosphere in March when the Premier League made its debut at the Irish venue.
Further league nights will be held at the NIA in Birmingham, the Echo Arena, Liverpool and Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena before the top four players progress to contest for the title in the Play-Offs at The O2, London on Thursday May 16.
“The McCoy’s Premier League Darts was the best-ever in 2012 and we’re already looking forward with excitement to next year’s tournament,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
“Not only did we celebrate two nine-dart finishes during the course of the event, but the players who achieved that feat, Phil Taylor and Simon Whitlock, went on to contest a brilliant final in London.
“The race for Play-Off places also went right to the final night with seven of the eight players still in contention, which shows how keenly fought this prestigious title is.
“The McCoy’s Premier League Darts continues to get better and better each year, and we’re delighted that Belfast’s Odyssey Arena, a venue which is traditionally filled with a fantastic crowd, will stage the opening night of what promises to be a memorable tournament.”
The McCoy’s Premier League Darts will feature the top four players from the PDC Order of Merit at the start of January following the Ladbrokes
World Darts Championship, along with four Wildcard selections.
The world’s top four currently features Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and former Premier League Darts champions James Wade and Gary Anderson – with Wes Newton, Andy Hamilton, Simon Whitlock and Terry Jenkins all vying to break into that group and earn an automatic place in the tournament with success in the remaining major events of 2012.
Tickets for the 2013 McCoy’s Premier League Darts will go on sale during October, with a Priority Sales period from October 8-14 being held for LIVEPDC.TV Annual Subscribers before tickets are released on General Sale on Monday October 15.
2013 McCoy’s Premier League Darts Dates
Night One Thursday February 7 Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Night Two Thursday February 14 AECC, Aberdeen
Night Three Thursday February 21 BIC, Bournemouth
Night Four Thursday February 28 Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Night Five Thursday March 7 Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
Night Six Thursday March 14 Manchester Arena
Night Seven Thursday March 21 Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Night Eight Thursday March 28 SECC, Glasgow
Night Nine Thursday April 4 The Brighton Centre
Night Ten Thursday April 11 Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
Night 11 Thursday April 18 The O2, Dublin
Night 12 Thursday April 25 NIA, Birmingham
Night 13 Thursday May 2 Echo Arena, Liverpool
Night 14 Thursday May 9 Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Play-Offs Thursday May 16 The O2, London