A South Yorkshire businessman has ploughed more than £150,000 into a new venture aimed at changing the face of competitive darts from next year.
Scott Newhouse, from Rotherham, has established BDO Events, the commercial partner of the British Darts Organisation (BDO), in a bid to bring some “razzmatazz” to the darts calendar by introducing a new international competition to Blackpool Tower next month.
The first BDO World Trophy will take place at the iconic tower from February 4-9 and will see amateurs and professionals competing for the title and the impressive £115,000 prize pot – the second largest in the darts calendar.
BDO Events was born out of a chance meeting with BDO director Alan Marshall and several follow-up meetings with BDO committee members.
Scott, who is in fact a non-darts player, said:
“After all the meetings I had the confidence to see the commercial opportunities and how I could move forward with the BDO and bring a little razzmatazz to the darts calendar at the same time.
“I know it sounds strange that someone who can’t even play the game should invest in a new tournament but, besides the business opportunity, I also decided I wanted to enhance the player and fan experience.
“With the line-up of players already confirmed and with the stunning setting of the tower ballroom, we really have a true festival of darts.
“The launch of this new competition and the sizeable prize fund is the right direction for the BDO, which will see men and women competing for this new title in the first of what is going to be an exciting year of new tournaments in the darts world”
The World Trophy, with Class A world ranking points up for grabs, is the first in a year-long programme for BDO Events culminating in the Super Series in July.
More than 1,000 players from all over the world will be taking part in the six-day event, which will be watched by up to 10,000 fans.
The winner of the World Trophy will qualify for immediate entry into the playoffs at the Winmau Word Masters and the Lakeside World Championships in 2015.
The competition will be open to all and Scott and the team at BDO Events are taking final applications from players eager to compete alongside the game’s greats including Scott Waites, Stephen Bunting, Jan Dekker, Martin Adams, James Wilson and Tony O’Shea.
BDO Events has a five-year plan to bring about change and has already secured Blackpool Tower for the five years for the World Trophy and the Super Series final and, in addition, has rights for the Cyprus Challenge (to be the official Open next year), Turkish Open, Romanian Open, The European Cup 2014 in Budapest and Romania and The World Cup Turkey, Belek in 2015.
BDO Events already has success to date with the British Classic at the Magna Centre in his hometown of Rotherham in August last year which attracted more than 1200 players and 650 spectators.
Scott, 43, a father of two and grandfather, started his career after qualifying as a City and Guilds carpenter and joiner and moved to Germany in 1992, where he became a site foreman in Berlin and then project manager.
He then formed his own company in Germany and Holland, which proved successful until 2001 when the world markets crashed following the terrorist attacks on the twin towers.
Scott then had to re-think his future and decided to move back to the UK. He then invested in a dry lining/plastering company and was instrumental in developing the company into property development.
However, the collapse in the UK market meant he was left with a sizeable portfolio of properties. Fortunately the development bank worked with Scott and his partner to keep the portfolio alive.
Scott then used his experience of UK building regulations and knowledge of Europe’s renewable energy market to form Wind and Solar Systems Ltd (WSS).
This has also been hugely successful with projects such as the 194KWp thin film solar project on the Magna Centre in Rotherham and 22KWp on Thomas Street Motors at Kilnhurst, Rotherham.
WSS has also secured funding for a £23 million solar development project that Scott has been working on for the last few years.
Construction works started in December in Westbury Shropshire and boasts to be the first large scale project to go through planning and now the largest in construction in Shropshire.
BDO Events has managed to secure Eurosport to televise (25 hours live coverage) of the World Trophy and has also managed to lock in The Daily Mirror (The Trinity Group) as the main sponsor for the event.