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Professional Darts Corporation unveils latest hike in prize money

The prize money on offer in Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) events during 2017 will rise to £11.2m (€13.3m/$13.8m), the organisation has announced.

The latest increase continues the PDC’s growth over the past decade, with prize money having risen from around £2m in 2006 to five times that amount in 2016.

The prize money on offer during the PDC’s showpiece World Darts Championship will rise to £1.8m for its 2017-18 edition, with a record £400,000 to be awarded to the winner. The 2016-17 event is currently ongoing at London’s Alexandra Palace, with £350,000 to be awarded to the winner.

The Premier League, which runs over a four-month period from February to March, will feature a prize fund of £825,000 next year, up from £725,000 in 2016. Next year's winner will take home £250,000.

The World Matchplay, which takes place in Blackpool, England in July, will feature a £500,000 prize fund, with £115,000 to be awarded to the winner.

Other events to benefit from increased prize funds in 2017 include the UK Open, Grand Slam of Darts, Players Championship Finals, World Series of Darts Finals and World Cup of Darts.

Prize money for European Tour events will also rise to £135,000 per tournament, with two events added to next year’s calendar. A further two Players Championship tournaments will be held next year, while the PDC Development Tour and Challenge Tour will expand to 20 events apiece.

Each of the six international World Series of Darts events in 2017 will feature a £60,000 prize fund. The series will include the inaugural US Darts Masters in Las Vegas next July.

Nine-dart finish bonuses for televised events will be included in the £11.2m total prize fund, along with contributions the PDC makes to affiliated tours around the world to aid the development of darts.

PDC chairman Barry Hearn has also announced a 12-month freeze in ticket prices for televised events in the UK and Ireland. The initiative begins with the 2017 World Matchplay.

“I said two years ago that my dream was to get to £10m – I'm scrapping that now and going for £20m, and we will get there,” Hearn said. "In 40 years of working in sport, this has been the most satisfying period. We've got ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and darts in many ways is working man's golf, where ability is the only barrier to success.

"The good news for the players is that we're going to change their lives through the sport of darts if they've got the ability.”

He added: “Our sponsors and TV partners are so happy with the entertainment we're providing them that they're all paying more money so it's only right and proper that the fans, who got us here in the first place, get the benefit of that.”