PDC World Championship: Barry Hearn 'can't sleep' with excitement
"Every round tells a different story, you see tears and tantrums, it's got everything," says PDC chairman Hearn; watch the World Darts Championship live on Sky Sports in December
Last Updated: 26/11/19 7:03am
The air is getting colder, the days are getting shorter, winter is here. And that can only mean one thing - the PDC World Championship is just around the corner.
The festival of darts gets underway on Sky Sports on Friday, December 13. Monday's draw did little to quell the hype.
It's the biggest show in town, and everyone is excited.
"I can't sleep thinking about it," exclaimed PDC chairman Barry Hearn, speaking to The Darts News Podcast.
"I've got 656 event days this year in my business globally, so there's not a day in which there's not something fantastic happening. I love my life and I love my job, but the darts at Ally Pally is just up there.
"People say to me, 'which do you prefer?' It's wrong to make a choice... Eddie's big boxing shows, Joshua-Ruiz - I can't wait for that. The World Championship of Snooker at the Crucible is special for me, but there's something about the energy in Alexandra Palace.
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"There's something about going backstage and seeing these kids in this practice room and they've all got a dream. Those dreams are going to be shattered which is great!
"It's great because when a dream is shattered, you find out about who you are and what you are made of - do you walk away with your head low or do you push your chest out and say that next year it won't be shattered? That's what separates men from boys in a sportsman's world.
"Great champions improve all the time and along the way, they give us entertainment."
The darts at Ally Pally is just up there.
Hearn feels the PDC Worlds is as good as any sporting event
Last year on a visit to the North London arena, the atmosphere outdid itself and took even Hearn aback.
"I said to someone, who wants to bet on how long it will be until the crowd sing 'stand up if you love the darts'? We sat in a room and all had £20 on it, someone said half-an-hour, someone said 15 minutes... we wrote it all down. 42 seconds it was!" he laughed.
Demand has continued to grow and grow, and tickets flew out the door when they went on sale.
"Where do you find outside of Eddie's big fights with Joshua and things like that, where do you find 75,000 tickets sold on the first day that you go on sale?" laughed Hearn.
"More people are coming and thinking that it's a great tournament, a great night.
"The players are giving it because they're ready to play and you're watching like a Van Gogh coming together on a painting by numbers board. Every round tells a different story, you see tears and tantrums, it's got everything. I think that it's the greatest part of Christmas, other than when my grandchildren open their presents."
It's not long to go now...
Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts - the action is back on your Sky Sports screens in December with the World Championship from Alexandra Palace. It all gets underway on Friday, December 13.