PDC confirm expanded Premier League as 2019 schedule is unveiled

Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson (Picture: Steve Welsh/PDC)

The 2019 PDC calendar will see over 200 days of darts include an expanded Premier League, a new UK Open format, 30 Players Championship events and a new destination for the European Tour.

The PDC's international growth will continue next year alongside the expansion of the ProTour with more opportunities for players than ever before.

2019 PDC Calendar

  • Premier League expands to 17 nights, including double-header at Rotterdam Ahoy
  • UK Open to feature 128 Tour Card Holders, 16 Challenge Tour Order of Merit Qualifiers & 16 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers
  • Prague to host European Tour event alongside established destinations in Germany, the Netherlands, Gibraltar, Austria and Denmark
  • 30 Players Championship events to be held in 2019
  • European Qualifying School from January 3-6 in Hildesheim
  • UK Qualifying School from January 17-20 in Wigan

Following the conclusion of the World Darts Championship with the final on New Year's Day, focus moves to the European Qualifying School from January 3-6 in Hildesheim ahead of the UK Qualifying School in Wigan from January 17-20.

With UK Open Qualifiers dropping off the schedule following the expansion of the UK Open to 160 players - including all 128 Tour cardholders - two Players Championship weekends open the ProTour season in their place during February.

A total of 30 Players Championship events will take place in 2019, including a weekend in Hildesheim in early August and four midweek double-headers.

Germany will host seven European Tour events, in Leverkusen, Hildesheim, Munich, Saarbrücken, Sindelfingen, Mannheim and Riesa, while both Graz and Vienna will stage events in Austria.

After 2018's successful maiden event in Copenhagen, the European Tour will return to Denmark alongside visits to the Netherlands, Gibraltar and, for the first time, the Czech Republic.

Following The Masters from February 1-3, the Premier League begins on Thursday February 7 in Newcastle and will also visit Glasgow, Dublin and Exeter during the opening four weeks.

The UK Open will be held from March 1-3 at the Butlin's Minehead Resort, with the Premier League continuing in Leeds and Nottingham before heading to Berlin ahead of a double-header in Rotterdam which will include Judgement Night.

The second half of the season features league nights in Belfast, Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Aberdeen ahead of the play-offs on May 23 at the O2 in London.

The World Cup of Darts will move to Hamburg from June 6-9, with the World Matchplay retaining its traditional spot in the calendar from July 20-28 in Blackpool.

The autumn's televised events will begin from October 6-12 with the World Grand Prix, to be followed by the Champions League and European Championship, which moves to Göttingen.

The World Series of Darts Finals will move to the Netherlands to be held, for the first time for a PDC televised event, in Amsterdam from November 1-3.

The Grand Slam of Darts will then be held from November 9-17 in Wolverhampton and be followed by the Players Championship Finals and World Youth Championship final in Minehead from November 22-24.

Dates for the 2019/2020 World Darts Championship will be confirmed in due course.

"The release of the PDC calendar is always an exciting time and this is especially so for 2019," said PDC chairman Barry Hearn.

"Our recent announcement of the expansion of the UK Open has allowed us to increase the number of Players Championship events being held during the year and create further opportunities for professional players.

"In addition, the European Tour remains consistent with 13 events but visits the Czech Republic for the first time to continue its growth across the continent.

"With Amsterdam staging a TV event for the first time when it hosts the World Series of Darts Finals and a Premier League double-header in Rotterdam, the popularity of the sport in the Netherlands is also reflected in next year's schedule.

"These continue to be hugely exciting times for anyone with the ambition to get to the top of the sport, and I'm sure that there will be massive interest for Qualifying School in the UK and Germany in January and also on our Development and Challenge Tour circuits."

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