The Grand Tour is (still) alive! Although if we're gonna talk quality of life somebody might want to call in Dr. Kevorkian--too late--he too has punched his ticket for eternity. This year the schedule has been reduced to a modest 4 events. (After the MS strip-mined Eastern Euroland for filler teams in their locked divisions.) The GT's first event this year will once again take place near Venice the weekend of May 1st. (Yes, the one in Italy.) There are currently 20 total teams signed up with 4 teams in the Pro division. (Should anyone require professional coaching assistance I am available.)
The next stop on the Millennium Series Victory Tour is the nearly fully booked Bitburg event. This year the MS has capped the number of teams it will accept in the open divisions which seems to have worked the charm for getting those registrations in quickly as they are turning away a handful of unlucky teams each event in D2 & D3. At Longchamp there was no M5 as an insufficient number of teams registered. Bitburg's M5 is closer to making a go of it. With the locked divisions and divisional caps the MS is at max capacity with 138 teams participating. No wonder they are hitting the photogs up for some extra cash.
The NPPL's Chicago event happens the same weekend as the Millennium's Bitburg event but unlike the MS it appears that registrations for Chicago are lagging. The list wasn't available until last week and despite the generally positive review from HB along with the ESPN3 broadcast of the pro portion of the event Chicago currently has 70 teams registered, including the 16 pro teams. This year's event also runs concurrently with Living Legends 4 and promises to offer a little something for every kind of baller imaginable. While there is as of yet no public word on the actual results of the ESPN3 broadcast (or follow-up) it has been rumored that ESPN found the results promising. Nor does the HB success seem to be delivering any momentum to the league in terms of building up the team base.
On a more positive note the league did request I follow-up on my offer to assist the refs and barring any unforeseen changes we should begin implementation for Chicago--and should the Powers That Be agree I'll be happy to enumerate how we're attempting to improve the process (in a future post.)
With their Chicago event still two months away the PSP had 131 teams registered as of this morning. At this point it's hard to say where the ceiling is given that PSP Chicago events routinely ran 200+ teams in the not-too-distant past. Both MLP Chicago events will be held this year at CPX Challenge Park and in the PSP's case should prove to be a solid improvement over the rain-drenched Badlandz. Depending on how serious the PSP is on getting the earliest handle on likely logistics and temp hires perhaps they might consider the MS plan for creating artificial scarcity by capping most or all of their divisions with a hard cap like the pro division. The difficulty with that is in gauging the numbers so that the caps include most (and close to all) of the teams that would have signed up anyway.