I think it's more the problem of the cost of running a tournament series than the cost of paintball products. No matter how cheap companies sell their products, if a league can't afford to hold an event without making any money, they will fail. There are quite a few out-of-industry factors involved that are making these events so costly to run. Paintball on T.V. was a bad idea, but looking for sponsor attention outside of paintball wasn't.
At the moment, I'm doing what I can to help local and regional tournaments stay afloat, I wouldn't even begin to know how we could fix the national tournament scene. What I have noticed is this:
World Cup, from 2003 to 2008, total teams playing:
'03- 340 teams
'04- 359 teams
'05- 334 teams
'06- 375 teams
'07- 372 teams
'08- 333 teams
If the USPL wants to stay afloat, they would need to match this level of consistency. For 6 years running, the PSP has managed to end each season with a turn out of over 330 teams at the tournament which is considered to be the biggest tournament in the world. With a full 2 months until the next world cup, there are already 200 teams registered and several teams even already paid up.
Since central florida seems to have such a solid turnout, maybe the USPL should consider having their season opener there every year? You could even host it at a paintball field instead of a sports complex (or fantasy of flight
) to save money. Just a thought.