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Entry fees, what are we really getting for our money?

Posted 04-06-2012 at 06:52 PM by Son of Liberty
As the years progress and I look back on the past 84 months I've played Airsoft I always recall one thing; entry fees. Yes we all know that entry fees are used to pay for things such as:
New structures

But why are these entries skyrocketing? Remember the days of a certain field being $20 flat? (I won't use names because I know egos get hurt so easily on this forum) Now you have to pay $5 if you show up a little late? That seems absolutely silly! What if you hit traffic, have something occur out of your control, yet you are punished financially because you show up late? The increases in just being able to play puts a strain on those that have financial stress; like me being a college Sophomore who can barely work enough during the semester to pay for gas and other life necessities. I'm slowly but surely being turned off from going to certain places just because of how "greedy" some people seem to be. What am I really getting out of my entry. In the long run I supply my own transportation, my own ammo, on most occasions my own food, yet I have to pay 20+ dollars to basically rent grass for the day; with nothing really to show for it. Plywood structures shouldn't dictate these increases in fees. Before we know it a standard open play style game will be upwards of $30+. It's getting ridiculous.

And before someone harps on me for it, no I'm not saying it should be free I'm just thinking out loud so I'll leave it to you, why are standard games becoming more and more expensive? Greed on the field owners part, the event operators? What?
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  1. Old
    jonahm740's Avatar
    Interesting thoughts Matt and honestly that's a fair question. From an EO standpoint it depends on the event. I try to keep the cost as low as possible while being able to cover the overhead such as props, pyro, special rules like ammo or patches etc. Now on an event like Nightfall the prop cost is huge, all things said and done we spent almost 1300 dollars on props and Daybreak and Iron Skies won't be much different. Generally speaking I try to keep the cost of 1 day's gaming for an Out of the Box Event to 25 bucks, a Ruins Raiders open at 15. That satisfies the field owner, covers my overhead for props and usually leaves me enough left over to put gas in the tank and take those who help me staff out to dinner afterword.

    I am generally pretty selective about what events I'll play in for the reasons you are listing. I try to keep that in mind when I write events as well. It is my feeling that if I am going to charge money for an event, ask people to take time away from family, work etc and show up at something I have written and put together it is my responsibility to make it worth the experience. I don't know if that answers your question Matt but I thought I would share my thoughts as an EO and hopefully illustrate my thought process with pricing .
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 08:33 PM by jonahm740 jonahm740 is offline
  2. Old
    Blade's Avatar
    LOL, I need to laugh at your post SOL since it is directly linked to my own events. I will not go into the details except perhaps that silly $5 extra fee for those showing late. First, I never charged any players for being late and now that I am telling you this, all players will know I tried to scare them off, hoping they will be worried enough to pay more that they will show up on time, out of respect for other players. And even before you asked such question, it apparently did not bother most players because they are still showing up late, holding up the other players and the overall organization.

    That being said, I will just keep going by saying that everything in life is based on several factors; Availability, demand, overhead, inventory, insurance, props, rental, future investment. Etc. When you host on your own private field with no insurance and no investments, your fee goes straight into your pocket. When you host from a business standpoint like I70 airsoft for example, it gets way more complicated than that. In 2011, I paid several thousands just in income taxes due to the airsoft events. That is easily few bucks per player at each event JUST in tax. We did not even talk about the field improvement, rental and insurance yet.

    Personally, I think you are just trolling SOL, you know way too well how a cost effective business should work. Just look at how many "fields" tentatively tried to open these last few years. They all came and went. Is Springfield charging $25.00 per player when other field are 5$ less? sure but look why; field size? field props? buildings? atmosphere? I am not saying Springfield is perfect but I can tell you that nothing beats it so far in Ohio in term of quantity and quality, dollar for dollar (not trying to insult or minimize other fields and organizers here) and please don't dare comparing Red Dragon with Hidden Spring Ranch

    p.s. Back in 2009, YOU (SPEAR) were charging $20 for an open play on a 10 acres field plastered with paint balls; . I was at $21.00 back then.... I am sure you would be at $25.00/player too if you were still hosting
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 08:54 PM by Blade Blade is offline
    Updated 04-10-2012 at 09:09 PM by Blade
  3. Old
    D-Boy's Avatar
    I wouldn't call it trolling, but its kinda nice to know where our money is going. I like to know what I pay for (besides awesome memories) sometimes.
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:14 PM by D-Boy D-Boy is offline
  4. Old
    Blade's Avatar
    Indeed. It is always nice to know but realistically speaking, unless you run a business, you could not understand. Do people whine at Kroger's because they paid $2.00 for their toothpaste tube while it actually cost 30 cents to produce? What about the bag of chips you just bought for 4.39$ when it barely cost $1 to produce? As much as people "want" to know, they simply can't admit that things are never that easy. I know SOL might have got a good intention but AO is not the place to talk about economy
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:20 PM by Blade Blade is offline
  5. Old
    Holstein's Avatar
    nope, looks like trolling to me. question coulda been asked without the passive-aggressive whinging

    or more accurately, someone running into cash issues and using and excuse about whining about prices to take a cheap shot. last i checked: lumber wasnt free, labor wasnt free, and spear was boycotting springfield. seems pretty clearcut to me: a few spear recently broke ranks and played at springfield and *gasp* had a good time!

    quick, better post something snarky so the kids keep coming to that paintsplattered basketball court you guys call a field down there.

    trollers gonna troll
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:25 PM by Holstein Holstein is offline
  6. Old
    Ruffy's Avatar
    First thought that comes to mind here is " Quality of the event and quality of the field are two different aspects." If I wanted to pay x amount of dollars to come and stare at nicely set up field then i would go to Hidden Valley Ranch. But I go to sling plastic and enjoy good times with friends. I've been to less developed fields and had great times. Im not saying that I've never had good times at Springfield, it's just that a highly developed venue does't always equal great times. I understand that costs do dictate the event pricing, but sometimes prices don't seem to reflect the event caliber.

    My 2 pennies
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:31 PM by Ruffy Ruffy is offline
  7. Old
    Blade's Avatar
    Agree with you Ruffy but to answer your post, the event caliber mostly depends on the player quality, out of the control of the host/organizer, which mean out of his field fee control. After all, there is a reason why I keep improving the field, my way to host and how to handle the players. work in progress as they say...but that also mean field fee in progress too LOL
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:36 PM by Blade Blade is offline
  8. Old
    Son of Liberty's Avatar
    I think it's very interesting how some of you think I'm trolling. I put a lot of thought into how to word this without hurting anyone's feelings. Holstein I think your comments were very childish and immature. Please reiterate your point and come back with a more adult post. For the rest of you, I as the consumer/customer deserve to know where my money goes. You get a receipt for other goods/services am I right?

    Franc, I'm not being snarky or anything towards you. I'm asking the question as a whole and using an example. Valley Creek and Red Dragon (regardless of who hosts) all have increased prices at some time or another. So I'll make it more clear cut as a general thought.

    Jonah I agree, the event depends on the price. Of course if you want the bells and whistles for a really over-the-top awesome game with pyro, etc. The price will be higher and rightly so. That's why Irene and those larger Ops are priced the way they are.

    So once again, I'm not being a troll, I'm not berating anyone. If your feelings got hurt (anyone) then it's your own fault for misinterpreting.

    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:38 PM by Son of Liberty Son of Liberty is offline
  9. Old
    D-Boy's Avatar
    Holstein lets not go down to insults. I am pretty sure somewhere in your mind you realized that was pretty dumb to say. I bet you have never played at Red Dragon before anyway. I'll do say, sure its small, but the field isn't the reason for high attendance. Try the caliber of the event organization. PM me if you want to get schooled some more on why your post means nothing and why you should not continue to add to this.

    Transparency is everything. If you are transparent in your costs and what/where money is being spent, nobody has problems. Adjusting for inflation is a friggin joke though.
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:42 PM by D-Boy D-Boy is offline
  10. Old
    jonahm740's Avatar
    I have to kind of agree with Ruffy on this one. Generally speaking I try to make it my mission to enjoy any game that I go to regardless of any other factors, otherwise what the hell am I paying with money and time for right? The fact remains that I feel (and speaking as an EO as well) that players do have a right to ask a legitimate question such as why does it cost as much as it does, that hardly makes it trolling.

    There is a reason that players like the "basketball court" that is Red Dragon, personally it is one of my favorite fields because the games hosted there are very well run and organized, that's simply the style of the EO. Blade you said it yourself, you have a more hands off style because you want players to be responsible for more of how the event goes and scenarios unfold and that is perfectly fine. Everyone is going to do it differently.

    Is Springfield the most developed field in Ohio? Without a doubt. Does that mean it hosts the best games or is the best organized field? No. The answer to that is simply speaking in the perception of the player and you know what? That's okay. We can either be airsofters and respect the fact that everyone has a different opinion relating to how and where they play or we can sling juveniles playing favorites . There of course will be some who disagree with me on that assessment and that's cool. At the end of the day we all sling plastic all over the state for various reasons at various places. Not sure why we can't be civil about the whole thing .
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:43 PM by jonahm740 jonahm740 is offline
  11. Old
    Blade's Avatar
    Explanations accepted SOL. To go into your latest post;
    Why do you get a receipt? 99% of the people get receipt to either be able to claim to their insurance, be able to return the good or just to make sure their card got charged the proper amount. Nobody keep the receipt just to know what in that 55" TV can make it cost $2k. You don't try to dissect your receipt cost, you try to "protect" yourself.

    I can't clearly remember but I think back in 2003, Most fields were at $15. These field were very primitive, private and paintball leftover (fran bar just to name one). Within 10 years or so, the fields got better and went more "professional". I70, Battlefront and Red Dragon just to name the most official fields. during that same period, the fee went from $15 to $25 (at most). While it might represent a significant increase, we all need to realize what we got in return already. Could you compare a place like Fran bar at $15 with a place like Red Dragon at $20-$25 or even Springfield at $25 ?

    Apparently, from the time I started until now, the technology and the fields took two different ways; the guns are now cheaper and crappier while the field are more expensive and better. It all evens up at the end

    Dboy, Adjusting to inflation is a joke? I just got hit by a %30 cost increase at homeDepot....and I doubt they were joking

    Jonah, if you ever see me posting or saying Springfield host the best events in Ohio, please let me know and punch me. I can perfectly admit that other events are doing an awesome work in this state.
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:48 PM by Blade Blade is offline
    Updated 04-10-2012 at 09:51 PM by Blade
  12. Old
    ReverseFlank's Avatar
    Ruffy wins the blog. The only time I get pissy about an entrance fee is if the event turns out to be ****. Has this happened at red dragon? Yes. Springfield? Yes. Even valley creek. Im not sure why SPEAR or RD was brought into this but whatever.

    Blade just to be clear you are justifying the "extra" $5 due to the quality of your field? I understand this mentality and agree with the theory but I just want to be sure that is where you are coming from.

    Holstein you don't get to say **** about trolls, brush that chip off your shoulder
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:48 PM by ReverseFlank ReverseFlank is offline
  13. Old
    I'm not saying anything about springfield, as I know where blade is coming from. But I also know where Matt is too, honestly, I don't care about going to a field with paintballs everywhere, because I know everytime I go to Red Dragon, I have a great time, its worth that twenty..

    Holstein, check yourself sir, that goes beyond trolling.. As for S.P.E.A.R. boycotting Hidden Spring, why do you have to judge? Its THEIR choice as airsofters where to play, not yours.

    I personally go to Springfield more than rd or anyother field,
    but also that's because I like Francs events and I go there and leave with a smile. Also, Franc hosts a lot more Springfields than people do RD. But every game I go to at RD is also a great one.

    As for event costs, I agree, for some events, entrys are expencive, but Milsim is what you make of it, and everyone makes it whether or not its a good game, the hosts just set you up for the ride..

    Be honest with yourselves, was that 25 bucks not worth that gorgeous field you played at, with a day (hopefully) full of fun?

    My rant is done.
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:51 PM by Carbon Carbon is offline
  14. Old
    ninja_fish's Avatar
    why complain about springfields price when spear doesnt go there? lols indeed
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:55 PM by ninja_fish ninja_fish is offline
  15. Old
    Blade's Avatar
    ReverseFlank, I am not saying that extra $5 is justified by the quality. In reality, quality could mean a bare bone field for player X while quality could mean a full blown Zussman for player Y. So quality is relative to each other which could either justify or negate the need of that extra $5.00.

    That extra $5.00 is justified by the fact that expenses are to be paid, being past, present of future expenses. Any business not thinking about their future needs (or costs in that matter) are doomed to fail.

    Hey, thinking about it now, most of the adults spend as much ($25.00) and even more within 30min at the strip club or drinking beers at the bar or going to the stadium. What are we *****ing about again?!?!

    But gotta admit though, the subject should not be about SPEAR or Springfield guys. SOL said he did not imply any names or places so lets keep it that way please.
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:57 PM by Blade Blade is offline
  16. Old
    ReverseFlank's Avatar
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:57 PM by ReverseFlank ReverseFlank is offline
    Updated 04-10-2012 at 10:09 PM by ReverseFlank
  17. Old
    D-Boy's Avatar
    We aren't boycotting any event. Honestly one of our members was just there. Its a matter of convenience mainly. With RD, Chilicothe, ValleyCreek, Hells Basin, there were quality events closer to the majority of us. Doesn't mean I won't mix it up anywhere else.
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 09:59 PM by D-Boy D-Boy is offline
  18. Old
    ninja_fish's Avatar
    okay springfield and spear aside, is a 5$ price increase a big deal? to anyone? Does anyone here think 5 dollars is alot? Anyone? Even the kids being dropped off by mommy and daddy can afford 25$
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 10:01 PM by ninja_fish ninja_fish is offline
  19. Old
    Blade's Avatar
    Gotta admit though, it has been a while since I participated actively into a post like this one. Thanks SOL.
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 10:02 PM by Blade Blade is offline
  20. Old
    Red's Avatar
    more expectations for field improvements + more field renovation + more demands from field owners + rising cost of materials = higher cost.

    More + more = more.

    pretty simple.
    Posted 04-10-2012 at 10:04 PM by Red Red is offline

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