League to kick off in Belfast
The 15 dates for the 2013 competition have been announced
Last Updated: 07/09/12 10:51am
Taylor: defending Premier League champion
The 2013 McCoy's Premier League Darts season will begin at Belfast's Odyssey Arena as the £450,000 tournament commences its 15-week tour of the UK & Ireland's biggest arenas.
"We're delighted that Belfast's Odyssey Arena, a venue which is traditionally filled with a fantastic crowd, will stage the opening night."
Barry Hearn Quotes of the week
The world's top eight players - led by reigning McCoy's Premier League Darts champion Phil Taylor and current World Champion Adrian Lewis - will compete in the tournament, which is screened live on Sky Sports across 15 successive Thursday nights.
The regular league season, which sees players face each other twice, will begin on Thursday February 7 at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.
The Premier League 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 Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff will host 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 in March when the McCoy's Premier League Darts 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.
2013 McCoy's Premier League Darts Dates
Thursday February 7: Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Thursday February 14: AECC, Aberdeen
Thursday February 21: BIC, Bournemouth
Thursday February 28: Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Thursday March 7: Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
Thursday March 14: Manchester Arena
Thursday March 21: Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Thursday March 28: SECC, Glasgow
Thursday April 4: The Brighton Centre
Thursday April 11: Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
Thursday April 18: The O2, Dublin
Thursday April 25: NIA, Birmingham
Thursday May 2: Echo Arena, Liverpool
Thursday May 9: Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Thursday May 16 (Play-Offs): The O2, London