17 July 2014

Bowling going down the gutter

An article at Bloomberg Business Week makes note of the downward trend in the popularity of bowling:
The U.S. had 4,061 bowling centers in 2012, down 25 percent from 1998, the earliest year for which the U.S. Census collected consistent data. But the decline of the bowling alley probably started a lot earlier. The U.S. added 2,000 bowling alleys between the end of World War II and 1958, when the American Society of Planning Officials reported that “the bowling alley is fast becoming one of the most important—if not the most important—local center of participant sport and recreation.”..

In those days, bowling was a social imperative for many Americans, says Marcel Fournier, who owned a string of bowling centers in western New York State starting in the 1960s. “The bowling alley was the blue-collar country club,” he says, and most of his business came from people competing in weekly leagues. As the workforce changed and access to other recreational activities expanded, interest in bowling leagues waned.
I've posted before about the similarly waning populatiry of golf.  And stamp collecting.   *Sigh*

Via The Presurfer.


  1. It's to bad they truncated the Y axis distorting the look of the graph. The text acknowledges the 25% but the graph makes it look like 75%.

  2. I blame smartphones, it's too hard to bowl while glued to a smartphone.

  3. It might just be my area but bowling leagues are very popular in the male gay community (it could be in the female gay community as well, I just don't know as many gay women.) If that becomes true around the country, bowling may once again see an uptick in popularity.

  4. Curious it's those activities that are just laid back enough to allow people to hang out, without being too intense yet still competitive and serious.
    I'm sure there are already video games that use this easy going formula, except that you don't exactly rub shoulders with others who are playing.
    Maybe social networks themselves managed to exclude the tedious game out of the equation.


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