China Added To World Series Schedule
THE PDC World Series of Darts will be bigger than ever in 2016 with the addition of an event in China to accompany tournaments in Dubai, New Zealand, Japan and Australia which will feature eight of the sport's biggest names.
The World Series of Darts began in 2013 with tournaments in Dubai and Sydney, with Perth being added to the calendar the following year before the successful introduction of tournaments in Japan and New Zealand in 2015.
The ongoing growth of professional darts worldwide will see the Shanghai Darts Masters join those five events on the 2016 World Series of Darts schedule, with the events culminating in the end-of-season World Series Finals in Glasgow in November.
The top four players in the PDC Order of Merit, Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor, are joined by invited players Peter Wright, James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld and Dave Chisnall as the eight PDC representatives in each event.
Australian pair Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson have been invited to compete in the Sydney and Perth tournaments, while the events in New Zealand, China, Japan and Australia will also feature regional qualifiers to complete the 16-player fields.
The Dubai Darts Masters will kick off the year's tournaments, with the eight-player event set to be held at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on May 26-27, with van Gerwen bidding to win his fourth successive title.
June will feature a double-header, with the Auckland Darts Masters taking place from June 17-19 to be followed by the inaugural Shanghai Darts Masters on June 25-26.
The Tokyo Darts Masters will then be held on July 6-7, before August sees the Sydney Darts Masters from August 18-20 followed by the Perth Darts Masters from August 25-27.
The top eight players from the final World Series of Darts rankings will then progress to compete in the World Series of Darts Finals on November 5-6 in Glasgow.
"The World Series of Darts has been hugely successful for the past three years and we're delighted to be taking darts' biggest names to Shanghai in 2016," said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
"While both Dubai and Australia are popular, established destinations for the World Series of Darts, we were overwhelmed by the incredible success of last year's tournaments in Japan and New Zealand and it is great to be returning to all four countries.
"The World Series of Darts not only gives players around the world their chance to compete against eight of the greatest stars ever to throw a dart, but also allows fans to see their heroes live in action, and we're looking forward to an exciting year ahead."
2016 PDC World Series of Darts
Dubai Darts Masters
Thursday May 26 (8pm)
Friday May 27 (8pm)
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium
Auckland Darts Masters
Friday June 17 (7pm)
Saturday June 18 (7pm)
Sunday June 19 (7pm)
Trusts Arena, Auckland
Shanghai Darts Masters
Saturday June 25 (6pm)
Sunday June 26 (6pm)
Himalaya Theatre, Shanghai
Tokyo Darts Masters
Wednesday July 6 (6pm)
Thursday July 7 (6pm)
Yoyogi Olympic Hall, Tokyo
Sydney Darts Masters
Thursday August 18 (7pm)
Friday August 19 (7pm)
Saturday August 20 (7pm)
Perth Darts Masters
Thursday August 25 (7pm)
Friday August 26 (7pm)
Saturday August 27 (7pm)
World Series of Darts Finals
Saturday November 5
Sunday November 6
Braehead Arena, Glasgow
Competing PDC Players
Michael van Gerwen - Three-time Dubai Darts Masters champion
Gary Anderson - Reigning World Champion
Adrian Lewis - 2015 Auckland Darts Masters Champion
Phil Taylor - Three-time Sydney Darts Masters champion
Peter Wright - 2015 Japan Darts Masters finalist
James Wade - 2015 Perth Darts Masters finalist
Raymond van Barneveld - 2013 Dubai Darts Masters finalist
Dave Chisnall - Three-time World Series of Darts semi-finalist