Paintball fields are closing because paintball's growth days were numbered once field owners started their "Race to the Bottom". Field owners couldn't lower prices fast enough at one point during our evolution, especially paint prices. They were all worried the field across town was going to steal all their customers if they let them sell paint $5 cheaper per case than they were selling them. So they lowered their price $5 lower than that, to get the customers they felt they lost back. This went back and forth until the lowest possible price was achieved. All this was possible of course because technology was evolving that allowed players to shoot more and more paintballs. What the fields lost in markup, they made up for increased volumes of paint sold. The only problem with that was that now fields were/are in need of selling high volumes of paint to keep afloat. The theory that bringing the paint prices down to make it more affordable so more people could play, didn't pan out. As the prices went down, people just shot more and more, so they weren't really saving any money. The high volume paintball game of tag that had evolved was attractive to a smaller demographic. So now we have a smaller demographic for fields to draw from with less markup, and a necessity to have those players shoot high volumes just to keep the cash flowing and try to keep the doors open.
In areas where the Race to the Bottom didn't take place (like here in BC Canada), fields have not closed down. On the contrary, new fields have opened up with more fields currently in the process of opening up. Paintball is still just as popular as ever and fields have an easier time staying afloat.
Many years ago when people posted things like, "paintball prices need to go down so more people can afford to play", I often warned them to be careful what they wished for.
Last edited by Horizon; 12-22-2012 at 09:44 PM.