2012 is drawing to a close and without any remaining scenarios on the calendar to prepare for this year, frankly, we’re bored. So perhaps in the meantime we can get you thinking about various aspects of the game we all love so much. Today’s thought: the future of mag-fed scenarios.
With the rise of mag-fed markers over the last few years, there’s been a greater call for fields to start hosting mag-fed only scenarios. The tactical element of a mag-fed event is something that appeals to a lot of paintballers. Players with mag-fed markers are itching to try their skills in events that are fair and balanced to their style of play, but there’s a problem: mag-fed events don’t pay the bills. Most fields rely not on event fees to cover their expenses, but on the sale of paint. With a mag-fed event, you’re just not going to move the volume of paint that you otherwise would during a normal scenario. To complicate the matter, the majority of paintball players don’t own mag-fed markers at this time, so field owners are left with only a few, miserable options. 1: Open the event to stock class and tac caps in addition to mag-fed. Generally speaking, this is probably the safest option, though may undoubtedly upset some of the mag-fed purists and doesn’t really improve revenue that much, only attendance. 2: Partner with a company that can supply mag-fed rentals to players. Unfortunately, this has the potential to increase the cost of the event to unacceptable levels in order to pay the company for their markers and puts the field owner at a risk of liability for the equipment. 3: Make it a strict, mag-fed only event without outside support and hope for the best. Obviously, attendance will be limited and it’s likely that the field won’t make enough money at the event to make future mag games worth their while. 4: Flat out increase the field fee for the event. Players are going to balk at this however, especially if they’re accustomed to attending events at a particular field under one price structure.
Personally, we love mag-fed events. We tried our hand at partnering with Rap4 this past summer and running an event in Ohio. While it certainly wasn’t the highest attended game that we ran and .68 Cal wasn’t flying its staff to any tropical vacation islands afterwards with the proceeds, I think tactically, it was one of the most interesting. It also ended up being an event that we received a tremendous amount of positive feedback on, so we feel that these games definitely have merit. Unfortunately, as stated above, it’s a tough sell to a paintball field because there’s an understanding that they just aren’t going to make the amount of money that they typically would at an event. Running a quality field is an expensive endeavor. If paintball begins making a real push towards mag-fed and players that previously used 2 cases of paint at an event are now making it through a day with 500 rounds, where does that leave commercial fields for our sport? How do they adapt to remain in business?
So what are your thoughts on mag-fed scenarios? Is there a way for field owners to strike a balance between selling less paint and still turning a healthy profit at one of these events? Or is it possible that an extreme rise in mag-fed markers will eventually be the downfall of a lot of commercial fields throughout the country?