Premier League champion Raymond van Barneveld headlining inaugural Ipswich Masters exhibition at Corn Exchange on December 5

Raymond van Barneveld is coming to Ipswich. Photo: Clive Gee/PA Wire.

Raymond van Barneveld is coming to Ipswich. Photo: Clive Gee/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Ipswich has hit the bullseye after it was announced some of the world’s best darts players will battle it out in front of hundreds of fans at an exhibition event.

Darts fans during the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: John

Darts fans during the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Five-time world darts champion Raymond van Barneveld will be the main attraction at the inaugural Ipswich Masters at the Corn Exchange this December.

More than 570 tickets are going on sale on Friday morning for the sporting spectacle, which will also feature Premier League stars James Wade and Ipswich’s own Mervyn King.

Dutch ace Vincent van der Voort, described as the world’s fastest player, world youth champion James Hubbard and three unnamed local qualifiers complete the line-up.

The game has enjoyed a phenomenal rise in popularity nationally and internationally in recent years, becoming the second-most watched sport on Sky and evoking memories of its 1980s peak.

Darts fans with 180 cards during the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, Lond

Darts fans with 180 cards during the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

The weekly Darts Premier League is selling out huge venues in front of lively and well-informed fans, who often turn up in fancy dress.

Jason Thame, promoter of MODUS Darts, which is organising the Ipswich Masters, said: “A night at the darts is widely regarded as the best night out in sport but fans in this part of the country have not had the chance to experience it without travelling a long way.

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“We have assembled some of the game’s very best players for what will be a fun but extremely competitive evening of sporting entertainment.”

The leading stars will use the Ipswich Masters, which takes place on Saturday, December 5, as a useful warm-up for the PDC World Championship, which starts a week later.

Organisers say 578 tickets are on sale, including 150 VIP tickets. VIP ticket-holders will meet the players before the event starts.

The eight participants will face each other in a straight knockout. At the interval, some fans could win the chance to get up on the stage and go head-to-head against a sporting legend.

Bryony Rudkin, culture portfolio-holder at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “This is going to attract a huge amount of interest both in the event and in Ipswich.

“Darts is massively popular and we welcome some of the sport’s stellar names to the Corn Exchange. It’s going to be a fantastic event.”

Tickets cost: VIP – £65, trestle seating – £33, balcony – £25 all prices include booking fees. To buy one, visit www.ipswichregent.com or call 01473 433100 from 9.30am on Friday. For group bookings, call 01473 433451.

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