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mrbowling300

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BY MATT FIORITO
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

To be continued ...

That, in a nutshell, describes the first Professional Bowlers Association's World Series of Bowling, which started Aug. 1 and ostensibly wrapped up Saturday and Sunday with six great championship shows that were taped by ESPN for a series that will start Oct. 25.

The culmination of that series, however, won't play out until Dec. 13, when the four finalists in the PBA World Championship determined Friday night at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park -- reigning player of the year Wes Malott, Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Bill O'Neill and Rhino Page -- meet at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., to fight for the title.

But the to-be-continued theme also applied to the overall event itself. Was it a success and will it be back next year?

"It was a great success, especially for an inaugural event," said Tom Clark, the PBA's visionary chief operating officer, who first proposed the WSOB.

Clark was particularly pleased by the number of international players who entered the events at Taylor Lanes and Thunderbowl, and with the increased traffic the WSOB generated for its Xtra Frame Internet entity, and, of course, the hundreds of thousands of dollars the PBA saved by not having to travel for six weeks.

Clark definitely wants to do it again, but now that the ice has been broken, there are other cities interested in hosting it next year.

Thunderbowl proprietor Tom Strobl hopes his center and Taylor Lanes will get first shot at it.

"We're definitely willing to do it again next year," Strobl said. "We hope to get together with the PBA later this fall to see what we can work out.

"It was a great experience, and I hope we can bring it back. Our leagues have been very supportive, and it would be nice for us and our 2,000 volunteers to have more time to prepare."

Contact MATT FIORITO: 313-222-6721 or mfiorito@freepress.com. Check out his bowling blog at freep.com/section/blog35.
themrfreeze

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Reply with quote  #2 
Of course the guy is going to say it was a smashing success! What else is he going to say about his idea?

The real measure of success will be whether anybody watches any of it on ESPN, since we all know who won. If not, and ESPN stops televising the PBA, Mr. Clark will have to seriously reconsider his verdict.

Crankenstein300

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I think ESPN will televise the PBA as long as it's around since it's a great success for the network considering the "filler" timeslot it gets running against the NFL.

But I agree with freeze that Clark will obviously say how much of a success it is no matter what. But it really could have been for the PBA and players itself since it saved both of them lots of money. But how the final product will be accepted by viewers remains to be seen.
mrbowling300

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Thunderbowl seems to be a unique venue for this type of event. They have three separate bays that make up the bowling center. The arena is 20 lanes. The main section is 54 lanes. The north bay is also 20 lanes. I suspect if they were to stage the WSOB somewhere else, it may need to be coordinated with a few centers in a particular area.
jpkaina

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 RENO RENO RENO!!! Need I say anymore?


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websurferdude

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Reply with quote  #6 
Reno has a spectacular facility but few spectators.
mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #7 
I would love to know how Detroit attendance was?
websurferdude

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Attendance for the TV shows was poor.  I wasn't there for the Saturday tapings, but I was there for all three tapings on Sunday.  The bleachers that were supposed to be off-camera on the right side of the lanes were removed.  The reserved seating plan was abandoned and people were allowed to sit wherever they wanted so the on-camera seats would look full.  The leagues scheduled for the main section of the building bowled as usual, with announcements made to the league members inviting them to come into the arena afterward to watch the shows free.  A lady friend and I paid for reserved seats; we got general-admission seats instead—the same general admission seats that others got for free.  Others who paid for only one show stayed for all three shows for free.  We felt that we had been ripped off.
Pullmyfinger

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Reply with quote  #9 

I thought the North end had 16 lanes. I think it goes 20-60-16 for a total of 96.

mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #10 
Nope....it's 20-54-20
websurferdude

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Reply with quote  #11 
It used to be 20+54+20=96.  During the summer of 2008 they took out four lanes from the north end to expand the arcade so now it's 20+54+16=90.
jpkaina

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Reply with quote  #12 

Quote:
Originally Posted by websurferdude
Reno has a spectacular facility but few spectators.

man thanks for bursting my bubble! LOL


__________________

"Tomorrow's just your future yesterday" Craig Ferguson

High Game: 300 x5 (3/20/2014, 5/29/2017, 4/15/2018, SPORT 300 11/13/2018, 12/19/2019)
High Series: 811

In the Bag:
Storm IQ Tour Pearl, Hyroad
Track MX10, 300A, Alias, Ultra Heat, 706A, Paradox Red
Hammer Black Widow Pink
Columbia 300 Scout Urethane, Slate U-Dot
Brunswick Speed Demon, ShockZone Pro
Radical CA$H
Ebonite Maxim, Magnum Seven, Omega LM, Thunderbolt Dual Block, OMNI, Destiny Magenta Solid

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websurferdude

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Reply with quote  #13 
An unusual but fortunate series of events led to the rare and admittedly undeserved opportunity for me to have dinner earlier tonight (Saturday) with several current and former exempt PBA players.  Because the following comments made by one them weren't made in a public context, and because there could be repercussions if his name were publicly attached to his criticisms, he will have to remain nameless.

When we arrived at the restaurant, he asked the waitress to tune one of the big-screen TVs to the President's Cup golf tournament.  He's an avid golfer, but he said he watches only the "big events" on TV because only in such events are golfers motivated to perform their very best.  He compared the President's Cup to bowling tournaments like the U.S. Open and the Masters.

That comment led me to ask about his opinion of the World Series of Bowling.  He wasn't happy at all.  He was critical of the PBA for scheduling the World Series in a center that insisted on maintaining its usual league schedule during the World Series.  He thought it was ridiculous to hold qualifying rounds at 8 a.m because the PBA World Championship had to take a backseat to Joe Sixpack's handicap mixed league.  It was hard for him to be motivated to perform to the best of his ability so early in the morning in front of "crowds" of two dozen people.

He said even the telecasts lacked their usual lustre.  The crowds were small, the free ticket recipients weren't interested in what was going on, and even the most avid fans were bored to death by the time the third show of the day was taped.  But he still expects the shows to look good on ESPN through the magic of editing.

He expects the World Series to take place again in 2010.  The PBA saved too much money not to do it again.  But he isn't looking forward to it.
Pullmyfinger

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Reply with quote  #14 

Sad. Nothing that you heard was surprising to me at all.

mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #15 
Me too!
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