I see demand outnumber supply in other hobbies. One that comes to mind is Nintendo systems around release. They sell out fast, and there’s a lot of frustrated people. Sure, they -could- charge more for their systems, but that goes against their goal: affordable entertainment for the whole family. Nintendo is notorious for using underpowered hardware to make costs cheaper. The limitations of the Super Nintendo made developers innovate in interesting ways to create their games.
I don’t think raising the ticket price is the right avenue. Concert tickets suffer this same issue. Bruce Springsteen really under charged recently, and the reason was because it’s for the fans. Yeah, you gotta be right there to get the thing, but how’s that very different than waiting for a new product outside the store on release day? I’ve been the 30th dude in line only to find out friggin Lebron James took 2 Xbox 360s so even though they had 30 I didn’t get one. (This really happened.) Even being in line doesn’t guarantee you the product, there’s a finite supply.
From the facebook threads I have seen, there are a slew of first timers this year that got into Pinburgh. That’s awesome! It’s nice that the same mix of people isn’t guaranteed, it makes the experience fresh and unique.
If y’all haven’t listened to Doug’s Pinball Profile yet, do that! He would love to raise the participants. However, that means more people running it, so they’re bringing in new blood to TD and tech. Hopefully they’ll gain enough experience that next year can be more.
Tldr; Raising the prices isn’t the best idea, imo. That’s a good way to push out the casual to starting to get good players, as that becomes so much to commit to, on top of other expenses. This might be my only tournament I travel out of state for, and I bet I’m not alone.