Once upon a time we at the Stourbridge club used to agonize about whether the modest subs fee would have to creep up from £2 a night to ensure that the takings at least broke even and covered the cost of hall hire. We also used to be aware that the larger attendances in Winter tended to fund the smaller attendances in Summer when the weather was good(ish).
These days, in the same church hall, the club is running at about full capacity and if you don't get there early you may end up with your tabletop squeezed into an unergonomic space and find that there are no chairs left.
Three miles down the road is the Kingswinford club, Dudley Darklords, that meet in a village hall-style building and that club routinely bursts its breeches and has to overspill into the adjacent rooms. It's 90% a different crowd to the Stourbridge club as well so it's not simply a case of the same people attending one club on a Tuesday and the other on a Friday, effectively a a small suburban middle class catchment area is straining to contain it's gamer population in two big clubs.
Yesterday Alex at the October club in Birmingham told me that they'd housed 60 attendees in one night and now the club can't accept any more members as there is physically no more room.
In theory this is a dying and greying hobby that can't compete with computer gaming and out of step with a modern society that wants instant gratification and doesn't want to have to put any effort into it's leisure pursuits.
No, me neither.