Bowling can be a great activity for a rainy day.
Some people find that bowling is so much fun, they will want to become part of a bowling league or organization.
The thing about bowling is that you will find the costs starting to add up.
Of course, these costs are not going to be like golf or jet skiing costs, but they are still high enough to question if this is worth the money.
Let’s take a look at why bowling is so expensive and whether or not there are ways you can save money when you play.
Why Is Bowling So Expensive?
1. Premium Bowling Alleys
A bowling alley used to be pretty standard across the board.
You would walk in, and there would be a registration desk where you could rent your supplies and pay for your lane.
Then you would walk further into the alley, and you would see the lanes for you to play.
Sometimes there would be a small area to order food, and other times, the alley would simply be about bowling only.
Today, a bowling alley will look much different.
The bowling alley of today has turned into a much different type of experience where it is more high end and more entertaining as well.
If you are a serious bowler, you may have preferred the older style bowling alleys.
However, for those who are looking for something fun to do indoors, the new premium bowling alleys are probably going to be more appealing.
In these newer bowling alleys, you will find that the pricing is much higher because of the entertainment level.
Chances are the screens that show the scoring are all going to be high definition and very well detailed.
You will also have access to a full bar as well as several different types of food.
Much of this will be served to you as you play in your lane.
No longer will you have to walk across the alley trying not to drop a slice of pizza.
Some of these bowling alleys are so high end that people dress nicely and go to these bowling alleys for a dinner and night out with a friend.
Of course, if this is not your style and you simply want a cheap round of bowling, you will have to find it elsewhere.
These premium bowling alleys are getting more popular because people enjoy the extra entertainment.
This has led to an increase in the overall pricing of bowling.
2. Space Occupied
When you pay for a game at a bowling alley, you will be using a great deal of space.
That space will be rented out for the duration of your game.
During your game, the bowling alley will not be able to put anyone else in your space.
Instead of just paying for a game, you are renting out a part of the building for a certain period of time.
Some people play fast and move right along, and others will take hours to complete their game.
This is difficult for a bowling alley to manage, and in order to make money, they have to make sure that the space occupied is properly paid for during the time it is occupied.
Some bowling alleys may put a time limit on the amount of time you can use a lane, but most won’t want to rush you out.
Chances are, if you have paid for a few games, you will probably also purchase some food and drinks.
This is just another revenue source for the bowling alley.
Now that you are using this lane, you have to think about the other costs that are involved with you using the lane.
Not only do the bowling alley floors need to be in perfect condition, but there need to be lights, seating, and of course, the pins need to be racked over and over again.
All of these things cost money.
The money you pay for your round on your lane will have to cover these expenses for the bowling alley to remain open.
When you look at things this way, bowling may not seem that expensive after all.
3. Equipment Rental
Do you have your own bowling shoes?
Most people do not.
If you are a person who likes to bowl a few times a year, chances are you do not have your own bowling shoes.
However, in order to walk onto the bowling alley, you are going to need to wear bowling shoes.
These are special shoes specifically built for bowling to prevent damage to the floors.
If floors are damaged, the ball will not roll right, and the game can’t be played correctly.
If you are a serious bowler, you probably have bowling shoes that you can use over and over again.
However, for those who need to rent shoes, this is just an additional expense.
Bowling shoes will only cost a few dollars to rent, but you have to think about the costs incurred when an entire family heads out to go bowling.
Certainly, things are going to start to add up.
If you end up deciding you are going to purchase your own bowling equipment, you will still be faced with some expensive options.
A bowling ball is not a cheap purchase.
Finding one that is the perfect weight and fit for you may take a bit of time and research as well.
Luckily, with bowling, there is not a ton of equipment you will need to invest in.
This is, however, just one more thing that makes bowling expensive.
Have you ever been bowling?
It can be a lot of fun.
You get to compete against yourself, and the better you get, the more you will see that there is a good bit of strategy involved.
Bowling is a fun game for kids as well.
They can play using bumpers along the alley to make sure they don’t roll the ball into the gutter.
This helps them to at least knock a few pins down each time.
One of the reasons bowling is so popular is that people of all ages can play it.
Any sport or activity that a grandparent can enjoy with their grandchild is going to be highly sought after.
This is also partly what makes bowling so expensive.
Since there are plenty of great reasons to go bowling, and people enjoy the sport, overall, the pricing will go up.
Of course, we often see that the pricing of hobbies is quite high.
When things are fun and enjoyable, people are willing to pay more for them.
This is common across all sports and hobbies as well as entertainment.
Most people work quite hard and try to save a portion of what they make to do enjoyable things.
Of course, the companies that offer these things want to make their pricing fair, but they want to earn as much of your discretionary income as possible.
Bowling is considered a luxury.
This is not something you need to participate in.
It is something you choose to participate in, and therefore, it will cost quite a bit more money than other activities.
5. League Costs
Many bowlers end up getting involved in a league.
Playing in a bowling league is a great way to enjoy the sport with friends.
The league usually meets at the same time and same place each week.
People like the consistency and the fact that the league almost forces them to spend some time enjoying the camaraderie of friends.
You will notice that, with a league, pricing seems as though it is actually discounted.
A bowling alley will often give a league a good discount because they know it is guaranteed income for them.
They will know that, every week, a specific part of the alley will be occupied and producing revenue for a certain period of time.
The cost of the league is not always the larger expense for the bowler.
The cost of the extras is what gets people.
The problem with a league is that people will probably start betting, drinking, and eating as well.
Although the league may only cost $10 each time you pay, the extra costs could end up being $40 for the night.
If this is something you are budgeting for and you expect, then it should not be a problem.
However, some people find that the more they play in a league, the more they realize how much money it really ends up costing them.
This should not be a deterrent to a bowling league.
It’s just something to consider before deciding if this is a hobby for you.
How to Save Money on Bowling Fees
Now that you have a better understanding as to why bowling is so expensive, you may be wondering what can be done about it.
For starters, you need to be realistic and expect that bowling is still going to cost some money.
Just to keep the doors of the bowling alley open, they will need to charge for the use of their space.
Once we have that established, you should also consider that bowling is actually pretty reasonably priced when compared to some other activities.
Let’s consider golf, for instance.
Sometimes, it will cost you $100 just to play a golf course.
Forget the fact that you have over $1000 worth of golf equipment in your bag.
When you compare bowling to golf, you will see that it is not all that expensive.
The best way to save money on bowling fees is to consider the day and time you are going to play.
There are certain times of the day and days of the week where bowling alleys are very slow.
During these times, they will most likely offer some type of a special to the bowlers.
You may end up getting two games for the price of one.
Some specials could offer you lunch with your bowling round.
Regardless of the promotion, you should be able to find something that will save you at least a little bit of money.
If your schedule is flexible, this can be a perfect way to avoid going broke by bowling every week!
Hopefully, you can now see that, although bowling can be a bit expensive, it is not the worst hobby to get involved in.
With bowling, you can manage the costs a little by being flexible about when and where you play.
If you have more than one bowling alley in town, chances are you can find a deal at one of them.
Sometimes you may see coupons for buying a certain number of games at once.
Try to be creative, and you will end up saving quite a bit of money the next time you feel like getting some bowling in.