Much of the populist appeal of darts – first, in its takeover of terrestrial television screens in the 1970s and 1980s, and then in its unprecedented revival and growth under Barry Hearn’s chairmanship – has been aligned to the sport’s accessibility and its promotion of the ordinary accomplishing the extraordinary.
At the beginning of June, the sport of darts grew immeasurably. The rise in prize money at the PDC World Championship – now at £2.5 million – is, indeed, quantifiable. The sheer value, though, of the increase of participants – from 72 to 96 – is far more significant. It
If boxing was Barry Hearn’s first love, and snooker was where he first made his name as a pioneering innovator, it is darts where his influence has been most evident in recent years.
Since taking charge of the Professional Darts Corporation in 2001, a derided pub game has become a marketable