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Why Locals don't attend NABC's

I have an opinion as to why locals may not attend NABC's (I want to take this topic out of the already too big Orlando thread)

I was surprised to learn that with 2000 MP's I am in the top 8% of masterpoint holders. That is 13,500 out of our 168,000 membership.

The percentage that is under 500 points is very high (I can get the numbers if interested.) Most of our members are Flight C players.

Here is a case in point from the Long Beach Nationals a few years back.

A substantial number of my area are married couples enjoying playing bridge in their retirement years.

A Flight C couple comes to the NABC.

Their cost: $68 entry fee ($17 per person per session), $10 parking, $50 for dinner = $128 for the day!

If they play in a Stratified Pair Game they realistically don't have much chance to get Gold points let alone winning. Not only do they not like playing the A Pairs, they really don't care to play the B players where the cutoff is lofty to them. The Gold Rush pairs helps a bit and some did come for that.

The local clubs stayed open. Anaheim on their Monday night game drew 21 tables - $20 per couple.

The only answer I can see is making Regional Event entry fees the local prevailing rates ($12 which would be $48 for the day) and raising NABC event entry fees on par with WBF fees. Of course, neither of these things will happen.

0-10k events seem to be popular because the top players are eliminated and even I believe I have a chance in a 0-10k event.

Maybe we need to turn the I/N room into a bigger top than 300 points and figure out a number that matches the players. Maybe 0-500 (the actual number could be determined based on known membership data) would work and if we continue to provide wonderful lectures and a lower entry fee we could get more locals to the Tournaments. The I/N room could even be further split 0-300; 300-500. We allow youth players discounts, maybe we could do something similar for Flight C Players.

Our NABC's are geared to the tip of the ice burg. We need to figure out how to get the bottom of the iceberg accommodated.

The interesting things I have learned about Gatlinburge is nearly everyone drives there. A lot of snow birds head home via G'burg. I live in LA so have to fly to Knoxville and rent a car or pay $70 for a shuttle. For me that s not a problem. With such a huge attendance there are (I'm guessing) close to 30 brackets in KO's - so Flight C players do play other Flight C's. Accommodations can be had for $60/night easily. Many group together and stay in beautiful condos in the mountains. There are plenty of inexpensive restaurants within walking distance of the Convention Center.

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