Bowling Centers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 2,800 bowling centers in the US are indoor facilities that offer bowling and related activities. They serve a mix of league and recreational bowlers. Major revenue categories include game fees; food and beverage sales; and rental fees (shoes, balls). Bowling centers may offer group events, such as birthday parties or corporate gatherings.

Decline of Bowling

Despite status as one of the top participation sports in the US, bowling as a competitive and recreational activity has struggled to remain relevant to Americans.

Boutique Bowling

To further engage adults and redefine the image of bowling, some firms have adopted a boutique bowling model.

Industry size & Structure

The average bowling center operates out of a single location, employs about 24 workers, and generates about $1.5 million annually.

    • The US bowling center industry consists of about 2,800 companies that employ about 68,900 workers and generate $4.2 billion annually.
    • The industry includes about 3,795 certified individual bowling centers and just over 82,000 lanes, according to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).
    • The bowling center industry is fragmented; the top 50 companies account for about 34% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies include Bowlero and smaller chains such as Pinstack and Splitsville.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Bowling Centers Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  May 3, 2024 - Higher Growth Expected for Industry
                                  • The US bowling centers industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% between 2024 and 2028, according to a forecast from Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc. The expected growth rate is faster than the overall economy's projected growth. Consumer confidence levels are expected to improve during the forecast window, which bodes well for the arts, entertainment, and recreation industries. Additionally, consumer sentiment has seen a degree of improvement following sustained lower levels. The report noted real spending for spectator sports has seen a strong recovery, up 12.4% in Q3 2023, following a decline during the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic. In comparison, inflation-adjusted spending on other live entertainment was down 7.3%. Attractions appealing to older people are also expected to do well, as the retirement population will continue to rise rapidly as the Baby Boom generation retires.
                                  • Consumer confidence levels fell in April 2024 from March 2024, marking a third consecutive month of weakness, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index was 97 in April 2024 from 103.1 in March 2024. According to Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, “Confidence retreated further in April, reaching its lowest level since July 2022 as consumers became less positive about the current labor market situation, and more concerned about future business conditions, job availability, and income.” Peterson added that confidence declined among consumers of all age groups and for all income groups except those in the $25,000 to $49,999 range. Plans for vacations, home purchases, and large appliances decreased on a six-month basis.
                                  • According to a recent ConsumerSignals survey by Deloitte, more discretionary categories, including recreation and entertainment, leisure travel, restaurants, and electronics, represented an estimated 22% share of consumer’s wallets in January, up slightly from a year ago. According to the Spending Intentions index, global total spending intentions remained consistent in January compared to December and were significantly higher than a year ago. Spending intentions have gradually returned to their 2021 levels after inflation curbed global spending confidence. The survey also revealed that over 60% of survey respondents reported their finances had either remained the same or improved in the past year, up from 58% a year ago.
                                  • The global bowling centers market is expected to grow to more than $15 billion by 2030, according to a new report by 360iResearch. The market was valued at $6.3 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13.9% from 2023 to 2030. The growth is being driven by increasing consumer demand for experiential and leisure activities. Bowling operators can diversify offerings by introducing live music or virtual reality experiences to attract a broader customer base. However, the industry faces challenges such as high operational costs, which include equipment maintenance, labor, and real estate. North America and Europe are already well-established bowling markets with steady and moderate growth predicted. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region presents a growth opportunity for the bowling centers market due to a growing middle class and increasing interest in lifestyle-oriented leisure activities. Latin American countries also show gradual growth due to the expanding middle-class demographics and urbanization. Additionally, the Middle East presents potential for expansion, with higher investments in tourism and the entertainment sectors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
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