By: George Moore
Now is the time for us players to really step up! Almost all pool halls struggled to make ends meet before Covid19, just imagine how the owners struggle now! The ones that survive will really need us to open up our wallets now.
Forget about free table time before a tournament. Pay it with a smile on your face! And then walk straight to the restaurant. Order some food and a drink. Pay it with a smile on your face!
When you get knocked out of the tournament, stick around and rent a table. Buy a coke. Enjoy it. Play with a buddy, and taste the feeling of supporting your local pool hall.
Unless we support our local pool halls, they will disappear within 6-12 months. This is a fact. Make no mistake about it!
Some just care about their local pool hall and some want the sport in general to grow. Either way, we need to step up. We can not expect the pool hall owners and industry, in general, to pick up the tab yet again.
For some reason, we players think that the promoters, organizers, and hall owners should cater to our needs without making a profit for themselves. This attitude has to stop - right now!
How come we think it’s perfectly fine to splash out $1-3,000 on a cue, but paying for table rent and buying a drink makes us think twice?
It’s incredibly difficult to make a profit from running a pool hall. With the Covid19 situation, an SBA loan will really only keep the problem at an arms lengths distance. Sooner or later, the owners have to pay it back. How long will they have the patience to keep financing our declining sport?
To make matters much worse, the forecast of the industry was already dark before the Covid19 hit us. Since 2013 the number of pool halls has decreased by 5%, and the forecast was that this would continue. And that was before the pandemic!
On a side note, the table rates have more or less been the same for 20 years, but the average costs of running a pool hall have increased by 21%.
The pool hall owners and their staff work long days, week after week. The tournament directors rarely get paid. The promotors more or less break even. The pool brands have been very supportive so far. Adding to the prize pool etc. But they also got hit really hard. There aren't many of us who's bought a new cue for the last 6 months.
My guess is that they will have to reduce their support for a while. They gotta make sure their own business survives. So we might see some smaller prize pools in the year to come, but let’s not make a big thing about it.
Let’s all help out the best we can. Or else your local pool hall will be gone. Soon. There are less than 1,300 pool halls in the US today. There were 1,400 only one year ago. See the trend..? If you are itching to buy yourself some new pool cues or bags - here are some buyer's guide from Peri Cues.