Column #HR190 Bring back the North American Open Darts Tournament!
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Bring back the North American Open Darts Tournament
Years ago, Dartoid penned a brilliant April 1 column. He detailed the PDC buying the BDO and taking over “amateur” darts. An April Fool’s column belonging in the Dart Writer’s Hall of Fame that is located somewhere between here and there.
There are times when fantasy becomes reality.
Writing from 100 years ago predicted that man would travel to the moon and under the ocean. How about Einstein’s theory of relativity? Who knew that “pie are square” and “cake are round”?
Last year, the UK voted to leave the European Union after 26 years, a result experts said would “never happen.” Can the EU survive? If not, it did outlast the Third Reich which ran from 1933 to 1945. Both political systems were to be the “future.”
Nelson Mandela, aka Madiba, said, “Sports mirror life.” If true, are “amateur” darts ready for a revolution to replace national and world-wide “power structures” – a structures that misgovern while taking bows for being clever?
Case #1: The ADO is a hopeless mess. In the words of comedian Ron White, “You can’t fix stupid.”
Case #2: The demise of the BDO.
The Sage of Sittingbourne, Dave Whitcombe, commented on the most recent BDO “International” between Wales, Scotland, and England…
Unless major investors come on board the internationals will unfortunately remain looking like they did this weekend – a county match. I see little attraction in busting your gut playing county and supporting tournaments to have nothing special at the end of it. Pride in being selected will always be there. But the past is the past. If we can’t match what was once a great event then maybe it’s time to call it a day and concentrate everything on getting players more TV.
Could the PDC be that “major investor”? Sure, but why? Will the PDC actually buy the BDO? NO. The BDO provides the PDC with a great “minor” league development system for future players. The cost? Nothing.
Granted, buying the BDO would hand the PDC the World Darts Federation on a platter. The value of that? Less than nothing as neither the WDF or the BDO take away a significant TV advertising dollars.
The PDC has TV and advertising revenue dominance with over 190 million people. The
secret? The PDC have “expanded their brand while making it fun for profit.” If the PDC wants to further expand their band then North America, with a total population of 533 million, should be the target.
If they are so inclined they’d be well advised to revive the old North American Open Darts Tournament – not a primary event for top professionals but as a return to the past of darts and fun for the many. It wouldn’t be difficult for the PDC to develop a PDC International Amateur Series. The groundwork, in North America, might start with this July 13-17 visit of the PDC to Las Vegas.
Last year, some very well-meaning people decided that an “old time North American reunion” would work at the same time. A Facebook page (Las Vegas Reunion) was opened – with the most recent post on March 4. “The PDC are happy to do a joint venture with the reunion party. Need to know definite numbers now on who intends to go to attend.” It always helps to answer the question, “Why do I want to make the trip?” It’s probably too late for the PDC to do anything significant this year – although a first step would help.
At one point, two of the PDC’s founders, Dick Allix and Tommy Cox, joined forces with Accudart’s David Kurtz to buy the North American. Al bit of history…
The Sahara Hotel and its homey atmosphere was gone to darts. The Sands Hotel was a stop gap measure, albeit without the Sahara hookers working the slot machines. Then the Rivera caught the North American. Good venue, acceptable room rents and the hookers returned. Their path traveled around the slot machines across from the oblong bar. They walked with such fervent desire that they build their own version of the Chrisom Trail.
Allix, Cox, and Kurtz, being very smart, knew what North American darters wanted. They hosted the last North American. One very propionate darter said, “That was the demise of the tournament that brought 3000 attendees. Allix, Cox, and Kurtz destroyed the tournament. David Kurtz is a jerk.” Cox has retired and Allix is important now only in his own mind.
Here’s how the PDC can invade North America using the PDC Amateur International Tour…
Set the tournament in Las Vegas the last week in August or first week in September. No points for ADO, BDO or WDF – only PDC International Amateur points. Run open singles 301 D/D, open doubles 501 D/D, and ladies singles and doubles. No player in the top 16 of the PDC Order of Merit may play either D/D open singles or doubles.
For TV, run a professional singles – open to ALL and with those in the top 16 in PDC Order of Merit given byes in first two rounds. Redraw subsequent rounds with no seeding. Granted, the PDC’s top players probably won’t be happy nor will North America’s best. Too bad. There are a hell of a lot more average players than there are top players. BOO HOO.
Machine darts regularly draw thousands to Las Vegas, several times a year. Why do they come?
Most of all, make it a party.
The careful reader might ask, “Can’t the Old Dart Coach be more specific?”
No, he cannot. The last time he was specific in regard to the North American three jerks hijacked the plan which brought about the demise of the North American.
The chances of this plan or anything like it becoming reality is located just north of “slim and none.” But it’s not the mindset of the PDC that has to be altered but rather the thinking of “promoters” in North America. Big money and longer formats don’t appreciatively increase entries.
Making the North American Open Darts Tournament the “world’s biggest dart party” should be the goal.
Stay thirsty my friends.
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