Darts Expert & Columnist
Rod Studd on Premier League Darts in Rotterdam, future locations, and nostalgia for the old days
Last Updated: 20/03/17 1:47pm
Rod Studd reflects on the popularity of darts in the Netherlands after the Premier League passed through Rotterdam. But does he miss the old days?
You'll have seen the pictures when Michael went to PSV Eindhoven after he won the World Championship, what an incredible reception from the supporters. I know he was very emotional about that, it must have been a magnificent feeling to walk into a stadium and be serenaded.
The Ahoy is a wonderful ampitheatre. You would love to play there, or to walk into like Barney did with 'Eye of the Tiger' playing. What a marvellous experience.
I don't think Michael is at the level in popularity of Barney, who is still the doyen of Dutch darts - he's revered for his longevity, and because he beat Phil Taylor in 2007 when nobody beat Phil Taylor. Michael has plenty of time on his side, but he's certainly extremely popular and well respected.
The growth is incredible, there's no comparing the venues going back a decade to when the Circus Tavern was in full swing. That only held 1,000 but the Ahoy is a wonderful amphitheatre. You would love to play there, or to walk into like Barney did with 'Eye of the Tiger' playing. What a marvellous experience.
I do miss the Circus Tavern, but nostalgia isn't what it used to be. You cling to things, but sometimes you're taking things out of the trash can and dusting them off - there were a lot of things that weren't great about the Circus Tavern! But I went there to see Wayne Mardle recently and went misty-eyed because I stood in the same spot as when I watched Van Barneveld beat Taylor in 2007. Your mind wanders back.
Those days were great, but things move on. Commercially, they can bring more people and revenue in big arenas like the Ahoy. The more revenue, the more the players earn, which you can't criticise.
I would be extremely surprised if the Premier League didn't have multiple nights abroad per season. It's no secret. Let's say Kim Huybrechts wins a couple of tournaments, then Belgium might become a possibility. If Max Hopp wins a tournament, a German venue might come up.
I would be extremely surprised if the Premier League didn't have multiple nights abroad per season. It's no secret.
There's a few possibilities, they are limitless. And the PDC are very shrewd.
Premier League Darts returns next Thursday, live on Sky Sports, from 7pm.