Where do the days go? Seems I forgot to renew my Prozac prescription and nothing good will come of that. An inclination toward pessimism now heightened by burgeoning chemical dependency issues has me despairing so naturally I began thinking of the future of, what else, competitive paintball. If you thought I was gonna say the economy--the Amazin' Kreskin you ain't--I said I was despairing, not suicidal.
I also thought I'd get ahead of the curve and offer up some predictions early--before the Cup crowd of Paintball Illuminati gather to chart our collective futures (think of this moment in time as the few days leading up to the activation of Skynet)--and save yourselves all the anxiety of waiting for the inevitable rumors and half-truths to start circulating.
The following is a prediction. It is not based on advance information I've been made privy to or disinformation either. It is an educated guess.
8 teams. The league might manage 10 but I'm having a hard time seeing how right now. Some very important decisions are going to made between Cup and, say, Christmas. There's a new variable in the mix I hadn't previously considered (which was stupid on my part because the precursors were there some time ago.) Anyway, I won't name teams as I can't be positive and speculation along those lines would be grossly unfair. 5 or 6 teams are virtually a lock and the shake-out will come from the others and the couple (or so) teams that currently are thinking they want in.
In a previous post I suggested in passing that I hoped the PSP managed '09 with no more than a 30% decline. I'm afraid that may have been too optimistic. Unfortunately there is also no way to implement the Pro Circuit between now and the start of next year--assuming the highly unlikely event of the PBIlluminati actually considering such a change. And without the Pro Circuit alternative methods of supporting the NXL would almost certainly conflict with the operation of the PSP. If the option to restructure the NXL isn't on the table then I hope the simpler course of cutting costs will be seriously considered--and which might add up to 10 teams but there is still a huge complication in the offing. (If you're a newcomer check out the Pro Circuit posts in the Archives to see what it's all about.)
More likely might be a reduced season schedule. Given that one way of looking at dropping one event would be a cost reduction of 20% for teams (and something less for the PSP) intending to compete for a series. And for everybody else a one or two event option would remain. The calculation for the PSP then becomes how many teams do we need over 4 events and when and where are the events held? The other question is how does a 4 event season impact league income from sponsors, etc?
One more prediction: the webshow will not have enough paying customers to make the PSP happy this time around--and if World Cup can't draw the numbers they want then what? Regardless, this is a project that ought to be pursued. Easy for me to say but even so. (I'll have more on the webshow and the Big Picture once I find out what all the PSP has in mind. )