Hello everyone! My name is Ben Bleiweiss and I'm the General Manager of StarCityGames.com. I wanted to start this daily blog to discuss the lead-up to Grand Prix Richmond. We've started getting a lot of questions due to the size of the event, and I wanted to let the community know what we are doing to make sure the Grand Prix is a fun experience for all involved!
As of noon today (Wednesday, 2/26), we have 1419 players preregistered for Grand Prix Richmond. We have been preregistering people at an average of more than 100 people per day for the past five days. We believe that this rate will only increase (people tend to wait until the week of a tournament to preregister), but let's take a look at the numbers as they currently stand:
Assuming 100 people preregistering a day:
Today: 1419 Players
Thursday 2/27: 1519 Players
Friday, 2/28: 1619 Players
Saturday, 3/1: 1719 Players
Sunday, 3/2: 1819 Players
Monday, 3/3: 1919 Players
Tuesday, 3/4: 2019 Players
Wednesday, 3/5: 2119 Players
Thursday, 3/6: 2219 Players
Friday, 3/7: 2319 Players
Keep in mind that these numbers are for noon of each day. Online registration for Grand Prix Richmond closes at 8 a.m. EST on Saturday, 3/8. On-site Registration for GP: Richmond will close at 1 a.m. on Saturday 3/8.
To put these numbers in perspective, the largest Constructed Grand Prix ever was Grand Prix Madrid in 2010. Grand Prix Madrid had 2,227 players. I'm not going to say for sure that Grand Prix Richmond is going to beat that number, but the preregistration trends we're seeing now are indicative of Grand Prix Richmond beating the largest constructed Grand Prix record before the doors even open on Friday, March 7th.
Our Organized Play and Media teams have been on top of the logistics of this event. Last week, we ordered additional Eternal Witness playmats in order to ensure that every main event participant is able to receive one. We've done and redone the floor plan to make sure there is enough seating on Saturday to handle a much larger-than-initially-expected event – we'd rather plan ahead now and start the event on time than be surprised on Saturday and have to delay things while we secure additional tables and chairs for players to game on!
I was not staffed for this event originally, but we've added multiple StarCityGames.com staff members (myself included) to make sure the event runs smoothly. I'll personally be at Grand Prix Richmond on Friday and Saturday working as floating help for any part of the tournament that needs a hand (from registration through getting lunch for staff members so they are well fed during the event!) Feel free to flag me down during the event if you'd like to chat or say hi, or if you have any concerns, and I'll do my best to help out!
Grand Prix Richmond looks like it is becoming the perfect storm of tournament attendance. Modern events (both online and in LGS) are on the rise, there was a ton of interest in the Modern rounds of Pro Tour Born of the Gods (Kudos to the WOTC coverage team for doing a knockout job at that event), and the demand on Modern singles has gone through the roof the past two months. If you're a huge supporter of the Modern Format, attending Grand Prix Richmond is the perfect way to express to Wizards just how popular the Modern format has become!
Over the next few days, I'll be keeping everyone up-to-date with our attendance numbers, highlights of the event, and any other news concerning Grand Prix Richmond! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to post in the comments of this article, and I'll do my best to either respond quickly on the thread, or address your questions in the next daily blog!