Quoted from Pinzap:
Best of luck with your efforts!! I've been wanting to do something similar, but as of now there are no locations with pins in the St Cloud area. Have considered opening up my home for some weekly pin tournaments if I can find enough interest... but have to convince the wife to turn my basement into a tavern once a week and that's an uphill struggle.
Be sure to post updates on this thread as you go along and I'll try to learn from the things you are doing to use towards my goal in central MN.
Uffda yeah. There are not too many vocal local pinball people here, nor many location to support a league. There are multiple locations with 1 beat down game, but we have a candy shop with 4 games now (need some work). And I'm in touch with the owner once a week about talking shop and hanging out. There are a few collectors around, but not many people want strangers in their house either...
So you bring up a good point. Documenting the process and getting things going.
To start. There are no leagues around, not too many collectors either and with lack of locations. I usually get bored of pinball as I'm the only one and forget I even have them. Well I had a friend partner up and we had a few games in company break rooms, but I never got to play them just fix them when they broke. Well finally I had a handful of friends that were interested enough into pinball to try to start what I'll call a fun league. AKA not competitive, free join (coin drop still on location), and more for hanging out. I've tried to read others start a league threads and ask podcasts questions...nothing seems to stick. So I'm just going to do it myself, and figure this out the hard way.
First, I just messaged all the local pinside people in my area. Many have not been on this site since 2013/2014. But I still messaged them about my idea. Then I sent an email to all my local friends that were even remotely interested in playing pinball. I prefaced this as a fun league to start. We will gauge what the commitment and competition level is and go from there. THis could spawn a fun league AND a competitive league. My thought was, eventually I would like a ifpa points league or selfie league, so that local players could get points for their world ranking. The only way I have points is by driving 2.5 hours south to launch parties. Which are in the evenings on weekends usually. Now with a family and responsibilities, it is harder to do so.
This is where I'm currently at. I planned day 1 for tomorrow evening at 7pm. I have like 2 confirmations out of 15-20 messages sent out. I have zero expectations so far. But I'd like to keep it Wednesday at 6 or 7pm so people can expect it to be the same.
Weeks ago I spoke with the owner of the candy shop and expressed my interest in a pinball league and even fixing and cleaning his games. He thought that would be great. It brings business to him and he even mentioned adding more pins. He told me to pick a week night so it was less busy and he would rope off the arcade section for us if we kept it on a scheduled day. So far so good! I plan on bringing a bag of tools and cleaner, then once the trust/knowledge builds in our relationship he may let me crack the games open, level, clean etc so we can have 100% working games for league. I also mentioned I wouldn't charge him for labor, maybe a bad idea, however with no route games in good shape, I figured I'd take work and responsibility to help the community.
I'll post up after tomorrow night...could be 3 of us for weeks