NPPL Returns to Tampa? And Other Venue Hoopla

Location, location, location! Historically, NPPL has it most of the time; PSP dabbles with it some of the time. As stated in the title, we’ve got our mitts on a one-off rumor from the inside that the NPPL will be returning to the Gulf Coast in the 2013 season. Sources indicate discussion between the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and the NPPL to land an event at Raymond James Stadium, home of the [hurting] Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as either the 2nd or 3rd stop. This relationship is not new; NPPL held events in ‘06 and ‘07 in the grass tailgating lots surrounding the NFL stadium. This idea is not new; high profile venues thrived in the mid-2000’s and still dot the yearly tours of both NPPL and PSP series. What might be new is a growing skepticism amongst the players; an inferior league could net three big’uns in ’13 (HB, RayJay, Bellagio) while the premier league deals with cow pastures and comp’d local Sunday spots (credit due to Phoenix in the Cards’ lots).

Photo Cred: GARY BAUM PaintballPhotography.com

See the contrasts? Where is the major disconnect here? PSP has the superior product, uncontested advantage in player support, obvious no-contest in industry backing, and a media presence far outweighing the other league. Yet, their championship venue would make a fitting set for a B-rate remake of Deliverance. My finger pointing is best illustrated metaphorically: the PSP has a chiseled chest, buff arms and legs, the sharpest haircut, but it’s jumbled between the ears. Its flaws lie upstairs. Post-economy tank, the PSP organization has underachieved and under-delivered in getting the good word of paintball outside of our little industry; the “holy grail” needed to reach the next level. Relative to the external “inputs” fed into its “business machine”, things just don’t match up and not enough is being done to hold those at the top accountable. Okay, enough of that.. Instead of rubbing salt in obvious wounds (cough.. the 2012 NJO/MAO logistical debacle), I’ll lay down some constructive journalism as food for thought and a wrap on the Tampa “rumor”. Small business succeeds by seeking out viable opportunities and creating lucrative mini-relationships–better than the next guy. Here is a little spiel from the aforementioned TBSC’s mission statement:

The Tampa Bay Sports Commission is a private, non-profit, 501c3, charitable corporation
that serves the entire Tampa Bay area as the lead organization for bidding on and
hosting major amateur sporting events. Our mission is to attract, promote and/or
organize major amateur sporting events, and grassroots youth sports programs, that
foster the ongoing development and quality of life for the entire Tampa Bay area.

This non-profit exists to FACILITATE “alternative” sporting events in the Tampa Bay area (Red Bull’s Wakeboarding Open was killer last spring). They actually WANT the event to come to town for the economic and social benefits that come with hosting, and are willing to pay for it. They sweeten the pot to make sure the tournament lands in Tampa and not elsewhere. See? It’s as simple as right place, right time.. or as frustrating as wrong place, wrong time (Cup chased out of Wide World of Sports by.. was it an equestrian event?).

So, what’s your take on this whole thing? Let out a rant on anything. Celebrate if you’re a Florida kid. Damn the NPPL, damn the PSP. Whatever. Just lay it out in the comments.

19 thoughts on “NPPL Returns to Tampa? And Other Venue Hoopla”

  1. “the clearly inferior league will net three big’uns in ’13 (HB, RayJay, Bellagio) while the premier league deals with cow pastures and comp’d local Sunday spots ”

    is this fact?

    1. Tough to say fact, more of a speculative inclination. HB is a lock, tampa rumor is solid, past 2 years in Vegas makes for a solid assumption.. Maybe a little tweak of the wording is necessary in the article

  2. The nppl is inferior for many reasons, none of which bein location
    1. The reffing, it is god awful. Teams dont want to pay money to be screwed by the refs.
    2. Venue and vendors. Nppl outcasted themselves by only allowing valken paint and not allowing dye/planet eclipse/ empire as venders. The venders at cup > than any nppl event
    3. Format and media. Nppl cant make a successful webcast, and the psp is a much easier and fun format to follow. So many people at cup were saying “wow this is so much better than 7 man”
    Take for instance vegas, we were all promised free fruit and water, did we get it no! The only place selling food had a lady hos teeth were falling out as she talked and left sandwiches out in the sun

    The truth of the matter is PSP cares about the players. The players make the sport, not the venue. With. Growth, the venues will come to us!

  3. Worth noting, someone mentioned on FB about the Vancouver “postponing” and why its not mentioned. Equally as ridiculous as the NJO/MAO mishap, agreed. But no one would put a fault like that past the NPPL. PSP isn’t supposed to have screwups like that. No one takes time to criticize the AFL’s mishaps, right? Because its irrelevant next to the NFL..

  4. Difference looks pretty obvious to me: There’s no one at the NPPL event. Putting a tiny event in a deserted parking lot doesn’t help anyone.

  5. Dude, I supported you guys all the way, you bailed all year and then come out with a hot and trendy venue spotlight article. Man, if there was someone else writing about this money sucking debacle of a sport, i’d almost be tempted to head over to their interwebs page

    1. Appreciate the support NewPro. Nice to see you in the mix again. Not sure how to take your comment though.

      Stay posted to ProPaintball though, there are some hot ones coming down the pipes.

    1. Dont mind the green spray paint at the 50 dorritos in boston. Or, the cardboard boxes and orange cones over drainage covers at Disneys Sports complex.

      RUN IT!

    1. if you’re referring to my arena pic, that’s actually from NPPL Kansas City.. ’07?

      if you’re just a skyball fanatic, then more power to you! ohh Canadaa, ohh Canadaa

      1. Real talk though, I think an arena league would be phenomenal. Especially if say the PSP picked up the concept as a winter series. Look at Motocross for example. The professional racers run the outdoor circuit through the warmer months, and the indoor supercross events in the winter. Plus arenas are typically in more urban areas not off the beaten path which would make them more accessible to spectators from outside the sport. Just my 2 cents.

  6. I would be so excited if they brought back Tampa. I know the NPPL isn’t what it used to be, but Tampa ’04 was my first tournament ever.

  7. As stated in the article, the PSP is the superior product and has not pushed as hard as the NPPL for outside exposure.

    Does venue chocie really matter at this time in our sport…let’s think about that for a second.

    Why do we need paintball at a very public site, in broad daylight on the Vegas strip or RJS in Tampa(or any other venue like that)?

    What is paintball really gaining?
    How many players and dollars are being gained vs how much it costs?
    Does the public venue produce more for paintball? Or is it just more flashy than a cow pasture?

    I will admit that the NPPL venues make it feel more like a spectical when your in a big city but, last time i checked the PSP world cup almost had more teams than the whole NPPL season combined…and it was in a open grass lot on private land. Granted it was only a short drive to Orlando but still… it was a grass lot.

    Now ask yourself… does location really matter?
    Answer: Yep it sure does… but I think the venue choice has less to do with it than the acutal regional location currently.

    A good example would be Chicago. Both leagues played the same venue. And all things considered, both had respectable turnouts…and why? Because its Chicago! Its a central location for everyone.
    And it was at a very nice paintball park down the street from a treatment plant. So what does that say?
    Teams still came, they played, made memories they will never forget and then went home.

    Now not to down play the nice venues the NPPL has had and pursues but, what is really being gained?

    The way I see it, the only way to justify being in a very public place and paying a premium price (in some cases for that land) is that you have “Outside Sponsors” that are funding the league and have a large interest in branding their products to that public audience that is present and a public audience that is gained from any media produceded from that event.

    The bottom line is that the more money that is coming in from the outside to back a league, the more reason to have it in a more expensive and public place.

    Tampa is a nice town and RJS is cool but, honestly I think they may need to rethink that decision for the benifit of the league.

    Just my opinoin.

  8. I dont care for this article at all, i could have done without that nppl/psp rhetoric.. its old news. This website falls by the wayside and then comes back with this? Ya thats good reporting.. if you dig deep enougj, of course youll find some shit in the dirt.. yet you guys dont dig at all.. you take a small unconfirmed rumor then spin that twards the rivalry.. fuck you.. ill admit 7 man has had a lot of issues and still does.. but the people who cant win in 7 man.. hate it..
    Since we are on a trip down memory fucking lane.. how many of you actually can remember when the russians were in their early dominance of the xball format and then came over to play a nppl event? I believe it was sd 04.. correct me if im wrong but i dont think they turned any heads..
    if you kids dont like something then dont play it.. that simple.. if you really want 7 man to die then stop talking about it

    1. Hey Lance, great feedback. I definitely recall when the Russians made the jump into NPPL and what a flop it was. Too bad they didn’t stick with it awhile, might have made for some interesting matches against Dynasty.

      As far as the PSP vs NPPL – truth is it doesn’t really matter. Neither is “saving paintball”, but each league has definitely gone out of their way to provide a place for players to “enjoy paintball”.

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