Saturday, March 13, 2010

Back to the Badlandz

A PSP press release yesterday announced that the Chicago 2010 event would be a blast back to the past, to be held at the Badlandz, OG home of the original Chicagoland tournaments. Drawing on tournament history and tradition it was one part nostalgia and two parts challenge. A reminder of past glory and a gauntlet thrown down for the younger set to prove they have the kind of heart today that the Old Skoolers had in their time. All in all a couple of steps up from the usual blather. Not that this isn't blather too but it is a better quality blather than the norm. And it probably would have worked pretty well any other time. (Heck, it may still work pretty well but there are a couple of things working against it, too.)

For those paying attention it ain't news that until yesterday there had not been an announced venue for the Chicago event. For those paying less attention the PSP has held the popular event next to a water park in Bolingbrook Il for the past few years and a return to a rural paintball field sounds like a step backwards. The real news is Bolingbrook was almost certainly not going to be the venue this year due to rising rental fees and the league was reviewing other possibilities. And personally I am inclined to think (based on zero official information) that the Badlandz is a conservative fallback option predicated largely on the significant decline in numbers seen in Phoenix. If Chicago numbers rebound the Badlandz can handle it (for the most part) and if they continue to be soft the Badlandz won't be an economic albatross around the league's throat. It is a prudent if not ideal choice.

Besides the obvious comparison players will make between the expected venue and the one they's gonna get there's also the unfortunate timing--of the NPPL 3.0's return to Chicago--prior to the PSP. The NPPL Chicago event is scheduled to be held at a paintball venue too; CPX Paintball Park in conjunction with the high profile Big Game, Living Legends, over the Memorial Day weekend. The PSP event will held end of June (as usual) and in conjunction with a UWL event. This means potential participants have two Chicago events within a month of each other to consider attending and it seems to me it's an open question as to the appeal of the two choices. Will NPPL 3.0 draw off local one time 5-man teams? Will a comparison of the venues sway undecideds? Time will tell.


anonachris said...

The only problem with holding it in the Badlandz is the location of the Badlandz. It's in bumbleville, way out of the way. MAO works as a local field because it's connected to an interstate, and its part of an interstate that's in a fairly "connected" area. The Badlandz? Who drives way out that way?

I'm fine with using local fields, but the location of the Badlandz (not the field itself) just has too much working against it.

Anonymous said...

Badlandz is 10 minutes south of major interstate on 4-lane highway the whole way. It's maybe 5 minutes further from hotels than Bolingbrook was, and you have your pick of cheap nice hotels to the west or really cheap ghetto hotels to the north.

Badlands is further from O'Hare, but not by much, and most people are driving to Chicago anyway.

I don't see any 5-man team choosing to play NPPL over PSP. PSP is same price or less, and better in every way.

anonachris said...

According to google, Bolingbrook center is 30+ miles through some of the most congested highways and roads in the Unitest States from the Badlandz. Badlandz is the farthest possible corner in the Chicago-area from... well.. everyone else in the Chicago area. I believe Bolingbrook brought out a sizeable spectator/customer population of non-event players. I believe Badlandz has never done so, or if they have it was 10 diehards.

Badlandz rocked in the day because of the unique field setups and wooded fiels. Bring them back and hold the event there and I'll be ok with it. But the only reason, the only reason, it's there is because it's cheap for the league and/or benefits Badlandz. And don't pretend its close to convienent for any player or spectator (and I'd assume vendor too).

All in all, I'm surprised Bolingbrook really screwed the pooch on this one though. The only reason I might support this move is it sticks a finger in the eye of the Bolingbrook city people who apparently were trying to kill the golden goose (like all our wise political leaders enjoy doing)

anonachris said...

Spelling/grammar apologies!

PBExpert said...

back to Badlandz ouch.... as mentioned loved there hyper ball fields 10 years ago...during the 10 man days. This is def 10 steps backwards for the sport I guess when moneys tight what are the other options? I would love to go with my pump gun - there wood fields rock!!!

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a total retro-move, with all the teams playing in the woods at the badlandz once per year. I'd love to see how the robot-kids play when no-one's around to shout 'he's coming'.