Rationale/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify and explore a selection of the tools (alcohol, song/chants, signs) that darts fans use at live Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) events and explain how the fans use these tools in the PDC darts arenas. Design/methodology/approach: A three-year empirical qualitative study, using a range of ethnographic methods, was conducted to understand how the use of these tools has made the live PDC darts events one of the ultimate sites of performative fandom. Findings: The carnivalesque atmosphere created by fans at live PDC events has made the events a televisual sports spectacle. This article explores some of the specific tools that are used to create a spectacle by the fans.These fan performances, using the tools, have been critical to the increases in the media viewership of professional darts tournaments and live attendances at the PDC events since the mid-2000s. Research Contribution: This article provides new insight into how a sports governing body utilises fans to create atmospheres at a niche sports event. By analysing darts fans’ use of the selected tools, this article examines how a sport can be managed and marketed primarily via event atmospheres rather than the sporting action on the stage or field.
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