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Old 02-01-2008, 05:22 AM #22
SaintRyan17
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Originally Posted by Horizon View Post
I think many paintball fields only have rec. fields to help support their speedball fields, at least that's the way it seems to be here on the west coast of Canada. None of the speedball fields are making enough money to really show a decent profit without the aid of the rec. ball fields.
I'm not sure I'd say they only have rec. to support speedball. I think most fields have realized that rec. play and bushball is where the money is, because most feilds that I've been to the speedball is sub par. I think if someone up here wanted to, they could open a speedball/reball only location and it would do fine. I love speedball/airball, but theres are a few things I've seen that I'm sure are the reason's speedball fields up here aren't bringing in there dues.
1)Rental speedball is almost non-existent. using a tipp 98 and some pallets don't count. why don't more fields offer speedball rental packages like in the states?
2)drop-in speedball doesn't exist up here. If people could show up and get a chance to play it would be ok, but most fields have there little group of turny ballers that take over the speedball course. if you don't have a full 5-7 man team you don't play.
3)playing on sub par fields, eh we practice how we play or we should be able to. more times then not when you go to play speedball up here, your lucky if the field has all the bunkers that are required by psp or nppl standards set up. playing 7 on 7 with 20 bunkers sucks... also most of the time the air bunkers are half inflated.
4)theres no small turnys up here to play. theres what? mxl, cxbl, bcpppl... gimme some small fun turnys with no league registration required, or hundreds/thousands to enter/play.
5)also the weather, speedball in the pouring rain sucks, if there was somewhere indoors/covered i think people would be at it like a bad
habit.

anyway thats my thought on it.

to the thread starter: yes, I would include rec. ball, just to give your customers more options. I mean the main things a player looks at is: price, quality of the field, did they have fun. giving your customers a choice allows them to have more fun. the more people who leave happy will come back and usually bring friends.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:25 AM #23
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Originally Posted by PantherPB.Ltd View Post
Your a smart man .
Woodsball is your bread and butter,with speedball being something you can build a reputation on via the tournement community.
Alot of tourneyment players will also bring out there non tourney playing friends in the long run

Jimmy/Panther
Do you really feel that is true, or do you say that because you want it to be true and because others say it? Didn't the owner of the field you work at basically abandon Speedball last year because he got fed up? Someone else stepped up and took over the speedball portion of the business, so it was technically only shut down for a very short time but I remember the owner very publicly saying he's had enough.


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Originally Posted by SaintRyan17 View Post
I'm not sure I'd say they only have rec. to support speedball. I think most fields have realized that rec. play and bushball is where the money is, because most feilds that I've been to the speedball is sub par. I think if someone up here wanted to, they could open a speedball/reball only location and it would do fine. I love speedball/airball, but theres are a few things I've seen that I'm sure are the reason's speedball fields up here aren't bringing in there dues.
1)Rental speedball is almost non-existent. using a tipp 98 and some pallets don't count. why don't more fields offer speedball rental packages like in the states?
This is a business decision that Iím sure all fields have mulled over and some have tried. Rental players prefer to play on rec. fields. This is for 2 main reasons. First, most (not all) donít like the intensity of paintball played at such a close range. Second, players find their paintballs donít last nearly as long, so their time having fun (which is why they came and what they paid for) is cut considerably shorter (half or less if it was a complete switch from one to the other). Those were the comments I was hearing when we had a speedball set-up for a short time.

Having had conversations (in confidence) with most of the field owners on the west coast, I can tell you that most agree that there is not enough money in speedball. Those that do it, do it for the love of the sport. Youíll notice that all the field owners that have speedball as part of their business, are all current or former avid speedball players. One thing they have done here is keep speedball more or less separate from their rec. portion of their business. This is a different business model than most fields in the US, but it works, from a business perspective. If you mingle the two, you will eventually feel forced to lower the paint prices on the rec. side of your business. This is what has happened to most fields in North America and in my opinion, the main reason the industry is in a decline in most parts of North America. Paintball is not declining on the west coast of Canada. On the contrary, from my own experience and the people I have spoken with, paintball is still increasing here (just not the speedball side, or at least not as much). Basically, the business model works, so why would business people, who rely on the income from their businesses, change it to a model that is not working as well? The only reason to do that, would be to increase the ďsportĒ (speedball) market. If thatís your main interest, as it is for many new field owners that are avid speedball players, then that would be the route to go. If making a profit or having a return on your investment is more important, then you should choose a business model that is most likely going to do that.

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Originally Posted by SaintRyan17 View Post
2)drop-in speedball doesn't exist up here. If people could show up and get a chance to play it would be ok, but most fields have there little group of turny ballers that take over the speedball course. if you don't have a full 5-7 man team you don't play.
I donít know how true that is, although I donít doubt (actually I know) that speedball players can be a bit snobbish and donít want to put up with the newbies (thatís something the management at the fields should be dealing with better). I have a feeling the market doesnít warrant holding separate sessions for just new speedball players. I do know that fields are constantly asking/inviting/begging for people to come out and give speedball a try.

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Originally Posted by SaintRyan17 View Post
3)playing on sub par fields, eh we practice how we play or we should be able to. more times then not when you go to play speedball up here, your lucky if the field has all the bunkers that are required by psp or nppl standards set up. playing 7 on 7 with 20 bunkers sucks... also most of the time the air bunkers are half inflated.
We have the Kompound here on the island and I know TPGís field is pretty nice. Some of the other fields could stand to improve, I agree. However, thatís not keeping new speedball players away. They do have a choice of some good fields and most newbies wouldnít know the difference between PSP, NPPL, or even an X-ball field for that matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintRyan17 View Post
4)theres no small turnys up here to play. theres what? mxl, cxbl, bcpppl... gimme some small fun turnys with no league registration required, or hundreds/thousands to enter/play.
I donít know how long youíve been around, but before those series were arranged to bring some unity into the sport, all we had was small tournies. So many small tournies, that none were attended well enough for any kind of success. Tournament organizers were undercutting (making for poor tournies) and scheduling their tournies in such ways to steal players from other tournies. It was an ugly scene with no cohesion.

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Originally Posted by SaintRyan17 View Post
5)also the weather, speedball in the pouring rain sucks, if there was somewhere indoors/covered i think people would be at it like a bad
habit.
Indoor fields have never been able to survive on the west coast (Canada). Your boss had the longest running and most successful indoor field, but even he closed when his lease expired. The ďindoorĒ season is too short and letís face it, even the worst outdoor weather here is way better than the rest of Canada. So what happens in speedball is that most take an extended break for 2-3 months during the real wet season. Those that really want to continue in the wet season and can afford to play 12 months of the year, have the option to play in an indoor just south of the border. Itís within easy driving distance and from what I hear, is a decent enough facility.
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:22 PM #24
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Originally Posted by Horizon View Post
This is a business decision that I’m sure all fields have mulled over and some have tried. Rental players prefer to play on rec. fields. This is for 2 main reasons. First, most (not all) don’t like the intensity of paintball played at such a close range. Second, players find their paintballs don’t last nearly as long, so their time having fun (which is why they came and what they paid for) is cut considerably shorter (half or less if it was a complete switch from one to the other). Those were the comments I was hearing when we had a speedball set-up for a short time.

Having had conversations (in confidence) with most of the field owners on the west coast, I can tell you that most agree that there is not enough money in speedball. Those that do it, do it for the love of the sport. You’ll notice that all the field owners that have speedball as part of their business, are all current or former avid speedball players. One thing they have done here is keep speedball more or less separate from their rec. portion of their business. This is a different business model than most fields in the US, but it works, from a business perspective. If you mingle the two, you will eventually feel forced to lower the paint prices on the rec. side of your business. This is what has happened to most fields in North America and in my opinion, the main reason the industry is in a decline in most parts of North America. Paintball is not declining on the west coast of Canada. On the contrary, from my own experience and the people I have spoken with, paintball is still increasing here (just not the speedball side, or at least not as much). Basically, the business model works, so why would business people, who rely on the income from their businesses, change it to a model that is not working as well? The only reason to do that, would be to increase the “sport” (speedball) market. If that’s your main interest, as it is for many new field owners that are avid speedball players, then that would be the route to go. If making a profit or having a return on your investment is more important, then you should choose a business model that is most likely going to do that.

I don’t know how true that is, although I don’t doubt (actually I know) that speedball players can be a bit snobbish and don’t want to put up with the newbies (that’s something the management at the fields should be dealing with better). I have a feeling the market doesn’t warrant holding separate sessions for just new speedball players. I do know that fields are constantly asking/inviting/begging for people to come out and give speedball a try.

We have the Kompound here on the island and I know TPG’s field is pretty nice. Some of the other fields could stand to improve, I agree. However, that’s not keeping new speedball players away. They do have a choice of some good fields and most newbies wouldn’t know the difference between PSP, NPPL, or even an X-ball field for that matter.

I don’t know how long you’ve been around, but before those series were arranged to bring some unity into the sport, all we had was small tournies. So many small tournies, that none were attended well enough for any kind of success. Tournament organizers were undercutting (making for poor tournies) and scheduling their tournies in such ways to steal players from other tournies. It was an ugly scene with no cohesion.

Indoor fields have never been able to survive on the west coast (Canada). Your boss had the longest running and most successful indoor field, but even he closed when his lease expired. The “indoor” season is too short and let’s face it, even the worst outdoor weather here is way better than the rest of Canada. So what happens in speedball is that most take an extended break for 2-3 months during the real wet season. Those that really want to continue in the wet season and can afford to play 12 months of the year, have the option to play in an indoor just south of the border. It’s within easy driving distance and from what I hear, is a decent enough facility.
fair enough.
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Last edited by SaintRyan17 : 02-01-2008 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:53 PM #25
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Rec ball fields burn more paint than speedball. You have 5 on 5 gong on a speedball field vs 40 on 40. people stand at max range scared to get hit and half the time the rec players try to blind fire... They shoot at bunkers for half a hopper before noticing they should move a little closer.

The speedball game is over in 2 minutes and they either turn it around real quick play another game then go sit and chill for 20 mi nutes they repod up. Meanwhile the recballers are playing any every field they can get there hands on while trying to figure out the most fair way to split teams up and then as soon that is done its all about how they can beat the other team...

Completely different frame of minds.

Your dealing with newer usually older people or older people bringing children out vs teenage young adult kids who want everything now/fast/cheap as can be or they will go elsewhere...
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:32 AM #26
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Excuse my ignorance (I'm from Canada), but ND is North Dakota?

5,000 players does not seem like very many. Is that 5,000 players playing more than once? For business purposes, I like to think in player-days, rather than just players, because that really doesnít tell you how many players you might get on an average day. We have approx. 15,000 player-days/yr in and around our city here in Victoria (when we started our business 7 years ago, it had been fairly stagnant for several years at about 5,000 player-days). That probably gets close to supporting two field owners with a meagre existence or one with a decent existence.

There are a couple of fields trying to increase the speedball player #ís (there are probably about 1,000 player-days/yr in that market). Theyíve been trying for years, but just canít seem to get it happening. Neither is making any money but are doing it for the love of the sport. But I understand our market is different, but Iím not really sure why. I like to think itís because many new players getting into paintball come to our field first and donít feel the need to explore any further, but I donít really know. I know many players started with us, then tried speedball for a while, and then have returned to us, after experiencing speedball. Most of them said they couldnít afford it, which is odd when you think that they were able to purchase paintballs at Ĺ the price and field/air fees were low as well. I guess the difference is the commitment needed to play speedball, at least if players want to play competitively. Players need to play (practice) speedball often to be competitive, while playing recreationally, you can show up when and if you want.

If your area has enough players to make that commitment, then you might be OK. Around here, there are not enough. But always remember, these players will always want the most they can get for the least amount of dollars. If a competitor offers it for a little less, many of your customers will switch. Of course, you could lower your prices to get them back, but that seems like a downward spiral I wouldnít want to be involved in.

I donít want to talk you out of opening your dream field, I just like people to go into it with their eyes wide open.
I can totally understand the lack of players, I live in saskatchewan (right above ND I believe) and theres less than 1000 playeys, in this area its sort of hard to get alot of people playing, but i know atleast here in sask, you can get away with charging crazy amounts for paint, anywhere from $80 a box to $130 a box (but no one likes that field..) and make up for the lack of players. I would say if you make a speedball field, USE INFLATEABLE BUNKERS! thats what the other ones were missing, and for your rentals use electronic guns, maybe some ions and keep a few mini's around that your players have the choice to pay a bit more to use. Also ask around what other fields in your area are charging, and crunch some numbers and see if you can go a bit lower than everyone else and try for the whole quantity of players thing instead of large prices, you will make more that way. An example is there is an airline in europe that only charges 20 dollars for a flight from dublin to london, yet they make much more a year than the airlines charging 300-500 dollars for the flight because everyone wants the deal.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:42 PM #27
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When people think of paintball they think woods, trees, and bush... Admit it unless they have been introduced to paintball before they go they won't know what Speedball is, and when they go home they wanna have "War Stories" to tell when they get home, they also want to be able to talk to there friends while playing fool around, while not being under constant pressure.... This makes woodsball ideal for the new and recreational players, some may get into speedball but not alot, due to cost and such, alot of these people playing are probably younger, teenagers and students, so they obviously don't have the money to spend on paintball.

I also live in Saskatchewan, where there isn't a big population, Ionic where do you live? PA, Sasakatoon, Regina?
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:53 PM #28
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Also ask around what other fields in your area are charging, and crunch some numbers and see if you can go a bit lower than everyone else and try for the whole quantity of players thing instead of large prices
If field 1 lowers their prices. Most of the time field 2 will feel obligated to lower their price to the same or under what field 1. This causes field 3 to follow suite and lower their prices even more than field 2 did. This is what we call a price war and in turn makes it harder for fields to stay open. Not a good business strategy unless you are trying to **** over your paintball community.
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:22 PM #29
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The closest field to me with air bunkers is arround 40 miles, however that is on the Air Force base so is usually military only. Then there is a woodsball/scenario field about 150 miles away, He does well for himself. Other than that the next closest is 200 miles away, it is an indoor arena, poorly run, with no outdoor facility in the summer months. In the entire state of ND we have a total of 3 fields and we have 635,867 People in our state, arround 140,000 are under 18, and 50% of the population is male which would make 70,000 , and if say 50% of that are over 12 years of age makes 35,000. If 2% of that population has or will play paintball that makes arround 7000 paintballers. That's not a bad number to strech between 4 fields, and that isn't counting the female players or the players over 18. Now your opinion, Does this sound like a crazy formula or am I fairly spot on.
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:43 PM #30
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Well it depends if you are by a large population, as you said you have over 600000 in your state, but are you off in the boonies or near some big centers? If you are in a populated place and run your field well with adequete prices, they don't have to be dirt cheap just have it fair priced and I think you could have a good go at it... An option for paint is have a low grade and mid/high grade paint, it gives players some variety...
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:58 PM #31
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Very true on the paint, I just have to find a place that doesn't make you spend 10,000 just to open an account with them. On the populated area part, well ND is sparsley populated, however i live 19 miles from a city with arround 35,000 within the city and then if you combine the small towns arround that city it comes to arround 50,000. I life pretty much in the center of ND, all major cities are within 200 miles from me. Which isn't bad.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:56 AM #32
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If it helps, we have both fields. A couple of woodsball fields and an '07 X-Ball field. We keep them very far apart and it's always the rec ballers that want to try speedball. Never the other way around. I guess they feel sticks and hard bunkers will damage their guns. We allow anyone to use any field. If there are seasoned veterans on the speedball field we let the rec ballers know this and if they still want to play we let the speedballers and refs know this and the refs will keep it pretty tame for the newbs. It's working for us.
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Old 02-08-2008, 01:22 PM #33
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Guys, I'm not a field owner, I work VERY close with one though. I am the captain of a speedball team that isn't all that great but we have a great time and enjoy the game. When we were looking for a place to practice and call home we found a woodsball only field. The field owner had a small area (80' x 140') with some extreme rage bunkers that didn't see much use. We asked if he would mind us being there. He was somewhat reluctant at first but gave it a try. We have been with him over a year now and it has been the best thing to ever happen to either of us. He has increased his sells of higher end markers and even became a direct Smart Parts dealer because of us (we have even convinced the woodsballers to buy some of our type of markers). We have benefited from the deal also. New friends and a new appreciation of woods style paintball plus discounts on product. My team has been strongly warned (by me) that under NO circumstances are they to get into that tired old battle of which is better, Woodsball vs speedball, or any of that attitude that normally (I hate to say this) follows speedball players. I will not put up with that.

I have been involved with many fields over the years and the biggest problem I've seen between the two types of styles is the animosity between the two groups. As long as you closely watch the two groups to insure they don't get any of that tired old crap started it will be great for your field. Speedballers will help you get your name out there plus help you turn your paint over. Woodsballers are where you make your bottom line. They spend the major part of the money.

It is the classic question for a store owner, mix the two groups or not. As long as you closely watch the two groups and put an immediate stop to any of that crap, your field will grow and prosper.

Just my two cents from a customer, player and team captain.
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:26 PM #34
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Instead of multiple Speedball fields. Maybe a hyperball and Speedball. I think that most renters or beginners like woodsball but they also like hyperball. Hyperball is a nice crossroad inbetween woods and speed; enough cover for the rentals to feel safer, but also close enough for speedballers to enjoy. Also as renters and woodsballers get more into hyperball they may fall in love wtih the speed of the game and upgrade their markers, which is where you come in. Your shop doesn't need to have DM's and Ego's, maybe some PMR's, SLG's, Ion's and some Spyders.

To make the most amount of money you could always do field paint only, especially opening fields I know do this in my area.
Just my speculation as a speedballer.
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