I just wanted to chime in here. I organized my own local play group. It took time and effort of me and a really good friend. Made sure alteast someone was there and hit almost every board game night for the last two months to demo if anyone was interested. We slowly gathered support of 3-4 players. The store we were closest too didn't show a whole lot of interest in hosting or running any types of events, so we shopped around our area. Michigan seems to be lucky enough to have a ton of FLGs and while a lot of our stores had it, no one really was really biting the idea of organized play.
We kept at it though. Every Monday, we showed up. Played for 3-4 hours. Talked to the owner about ordering the first playkit. Said he could order it and he did, as long as he made money back for the kit he didn't mind at all. We started reaching out online and notifiying people through here, Reddit, BGG, Twitter, and now Facebook.
Fast foward to this last monday, we had 10 players for $5 dollar buy in on league play. Also had 4 players in open play. Proceeds went right back to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd players for store credit. We are now looking forward to our first prize kit tournament this Saturday and with we're about looking at about 25 people signed up and expecting even more. Im estatic about the whole thing.
Hopefully we can get enough going on so our application stands out for regionals. The store's thrilled with the idea. I'm crossing my fingers.
I consider myself to be very lucky. But a lot of it fell into place after networking out. Don't loose hope!
The store credit model worked out great to keep players coming back in for the league play. Some people use it to buy sleeves or other board games, magic cards. Whatever. The stores happy to have the secured income. We're happy to have the level of competition on the table. The week before Trace Amount came out our store knew it was coming in next week. We had 8 people at $5 entry. 1rst, 2nd, and 3rd all got vouchers for TA along with 1st getting 15 store credit, 2nd getting 10, 3rd just the pack. That model worked out great with the store taking a tiny hit. Everyone showed up the next week to pickup and play the new cards. They completely sold out of their first set.
We are taking the responsibility and making our play environment. It's thriving. It's great to see our efforts paying off and we're having a blast.
Again, I did the same thing with UFS back when Sabertooth Games owned it. Takes a lot of effort, but if you bring a buddy and demo decks, worst case scenario, you wind up playing the game with your buddy in a visible space at a games store.