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Move the Date of the Fall NABC!

Why do we hold the Fall NABC over Thanksgiving weekend? I hate it. This is a holiday I want to spend with my family. And I don't want to wake up early on Friday morning to catch a flight and then play in an NABC event that afternoon. Especially when the tournament is on the West Coast and I have to adjust to the time change. It's even worse now that the first event is a "real" one: the Soloway.

I am not alone. In my conversations about this I have heard zero people tell me they like the scheduling. Many tell me they do not attend the Fall NABC, or come late, because of Thanksgiving. My evidence is anecdotal, so I'd love to see day-by-day breakdowns of NABC attendance. My guess is that the first weekend of the Fall NABC is the least attended.

So why do we continue to hold the tournament over Thanksgiving?

I have been given two answers, neither of which is at all convincing. The first is that it's "good for working people." They have Thursday and often Friday off and can make it an easy long weekend. This doesn't hold water. First, what percentage of NABC attendees work? (Sadly, it's not high.) Second, people who work have families, too; why would we assume they want to skip out on Thanksgiving to play bridge? Third, if this is the real reason, the old schedule, where Thanksgiving fell in the middle of the tournament (much worse for most of us, of course), would be best for working folk, as they could take the whole week of Thanksgiving off, costing just a few vacation days to let them play the whole tournament.

The second reason is cost: no one else wants to book convention space Thanksgiving weekend, so we get it cheap. I believe this is probably true. But we hold two other NABCs over non-holiday weekends and are able to make money; why does the fall require a discount? And are we really that cheap that we trade what is best for our membership for a few bucks saved?

I hope someone can give me another reason that actually makes sense. If not, please step up, Board of Directors, and start scheduling the Fall NABC in early November or late October. I know we have contracts several years out, but let's not make any more over Thanksgiving weekend. Also, let's see if we can re-negotiate the ones we have.

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