Hi Everyone. My name is Wayne and I am the founder of the Tucson Pinball League (2014) and co-owner of Tucson Pinball (late 2015), a (currently) 3-location hobby operation. We have 19-20 machines on location currently depending on maintenance needs. I run 12 league events a year, and am slated to do 36 IFPA tournaments this year, along with the first ever Tucson Pinball City Championship.
We have a great group of core players, about 10 or so, and maybe 10 other semi-regular players. According to IFPA, I have hosted 125 events, 75 unique players, 31 new players, and 25 returning players. Seeing as league has about 10 new players and we have only submitted once so far, that returning player number will increase a decent amount with the next submission.
So there are the numbers. Here is the question: How do I increase the pinball culture in my area?
I listen to a lot of podcasts (because I like them) and have picked up a lot of good info from them whenever operators are on. I don’t listen for this sole reason, but I’m trying to stay on topic.
This is not a WPPR goal, this is not a money goal, this is a mission. Tucson has a metro area of around a million people. It shouldn’t be hard, but it is.
I have been on the radio in the past talking about pinball and that generated ONE new like to our Facebook page. I have done a little bit of FB advertising which got page likes, but I have never seen any of those people like, comment, or share anything I have ever posted. I have emailed TV and paper news outlets as Phoenix has had enormous success in this area, and finally have one person interested in at least talking about doing a TV piece.
D&D, the 24-30 pin location in town has done radio, college newspaper and game ads, and they have said they were largely unsuccessful.
I’ve hosted one charity event (not a tournament) recently and that got pretty decent feedback from the beneficiary, so I am going to try to host more of those with local groups in exchange for a FB event share to get the word out.
I know it won’t happen overnight, but I’d really like feedback on the places that have strong pinball scenes/cultures/player bases. The Portlands, the Seatles, the Clevelands, the Chicagos, the DFWs, and so on.