Darts on the arena at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium is excited to confirm it will be hosting the Don Smallgoods Invitational Darts Challenge in Arena Mode on Friday, January 10 and Saturday, January 11 2014.
The events will be held on the Etihad Stadium arena and will feature four of darts’ biggest international names including Australian born, Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock, Holland’s, Mighty Michael van Gerwen, Australian, Paul ‘The Asset’ Nicholson and England's, Andy ‘The Hammer’ Hamilton. This will be the first appearance from the players after the World Championships.

The January tournament comes on the heels of the successful appearances of two of the game’s biggest names, Whitlock and Nicholson who were the star attractions at the Don Smallgoods Invitational Challenge in the Victory Room in August attended by a colourful crowd of one thousand darts fans.

Etihad Stadium CEO, Paul Sergeant, said the August trial indicated that the game had caught on in Australia.

“International darts is a television ratings bonanza and we are of the opinion we can draw sufficient numbers to warrant hosting the events on our arena. It is still early days but we believe we can attract crowds of more than 4,000 to each event,” Mr Sergeant said.

Simon Whitlock is widely regarded as the best player ever to come out of the southern hemisphere. The Wizard is the reigning European Champion and has won 10 pro-tour titles and more than 50 tournaments around the world. Ranked fourth in the world, Whitlock is renowned for taking the maximum 180 shot more than anyone else on the circuit.

Michael van Gerwan is the currently ranked second in the world and has been described as a darts prodigy, having been the youngest ever winner of the World Masters. ‘Mighty Mike’ enjoyed a stellar 2012 season, improving his ranking from 38 to four in less than a year as well as winning the 2013 Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) Player of the Year award and being crowned the 2013 Premier League Champion.

Paul Nicholson was a 2012 World Cup finalist and winner of three pro-tour events and more than 15 global tournaments. The talented Australian oozes charisma and takes a meticulous approach to the sport, citing fitness and preparation as key factors in producing the best performance possible.

Andy Hamilton is currently ranked fifth in the world and is a consistent performer on the circuit. Most recently, the Hammer was runner up to Phil Taylor at the 2013 UK Open and runner up to Adrian Lewis at the 2012 World Championships.

The UK’s largest indoor sport, darts regularly sells out arenas across Britain and is considered one of the most entertaining, sporting nights’ out.