• World Matchplay

PDC extend Winter Gardens deal

ESPN staff
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The World Matchplay will stay at Winter Gardens for another five years after the PDC extended the Blackpool venue's deal.

The Empress Ballroom has been home to the the PDC's second-longest running major since its inception in 1994.

Over July 19-27, the Winter Gardens will host its 21st World Matchplay. Reigning champion Phil Taylor, who secured a record sixth Blackpool title in a row and his 14th overall this summer, said: "This is great news, both for myself and also for everyone who loves the Winter Gardens.

"I've been fortunate enough to play in hundreds of venues throughout my career, but the Winter Gardens is my favourite. It's a special place, it's a venue that everybody wants to play in and it has something magical about it.

"It's been very kind to me over the past 20 years, and I've got a lot of great memories at the Winter Gardens - and hopefully I'll create some more in the next few years too!"

Winter Gardens managing director Michael Williams added: "We marked the 20th anniversary of hosting the World Matchplay earlier this year, and to be securing its future in the resort for another five years is great news for Blackpool, and is testament to the PDC's commitment to the town and the venue.

"Next year's tournament will continue to be one of the highlights of the Winter Gardens' calendar, attracting a huge audience to Blackpool."

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