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Why the Global Rise of Pro Darts? 'It's a Party!'

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The World Series of Darts is scheduled to come to New York City for the first time in June 2020. One doesn’t necessarily need to be a fan of the ‘bar room’ game to enjoy the event. Many of those in attendance are there for the wild party as much as they are the sport. 

The average U.S. sports fan is largely in the dark as it relates to the popularity of pro darts, but as Barry Hearn, chairman of the Professional Darts Corporation explained, over the last 15 years it truly has become a global sporting phenomenon.

"In Europe, [darts] is the second highest rated sport on television—behind only soccer. [The game is also] massive in China and is spreading through Southeast Asia, Australia and Africa.”

With large audiences tuning in on television and more than 300,000 fans attending Professional Darts Corporation events annually, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that those competing at dart’s highest level earn “millions of dollars per year.”

But the total is still staggering when one considers that just a single bowler on the PBA tour—America’s most successful ‘blue-collar’ game—earned more than $200,000 in 2019.

The standard dartboard is just 18 inches in diameter, so the majority of fans in attendance at Professional Darts Corporation events are watching the action on screens. 

While it may sound strange to attend a sporting event that can only be seen on a television, most of the crowd is there to take part in the party.

Hearn says that “people dress up [and] there is a little bit of alcohol involved."

'A little bit' is a relative term. The average fan at the World Series consumes 10.2 pints of beer/night. That’s a higher rate of consumption on per/person basis than reported at the Munich Beer Festival.

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