View Full Version : How to: Start your own local paintball field

05-17-2007, 12:40 AM
Hi, i am starting this thread to gather info on starting your own paintball field.

I will update the thread with all the important info added on the first page in a quick guide. Im asking members to share their part of their experience in a paintball field's employment, gestion, private projects, legal and administrative expertise.

Im doing this because im dreamed of running my own paintball field and i want to know and let know to fellow members, if this kind of project is feasable, or just a dream...

Here are the topics that need answers:
(Sections will be updated as info is gathered)

1: Where to start?

2: What kind of investment are we talking about?

3: What are the existing legislations in your country? (United States, Canada)

4: Choosing the land.

5: What field supplies do i need?

6: Bunker and map architecture.

7: What about concurence and existing communities?

8: Finishing touches.

I hope this thread will help members accomplish their dreams or pop their bubbles before talking too much.. :)

Thanks in advance for your support.

Mods: If this thread is not in the right section, i think it is serious enough to stick with it then please redirect me in the right section.

05-17-2007, 10:46 AM
1: Where to start?
Find a cheap piece of land...near people

2: What kind of investment are we talking about?
a loss...
3: What are the existing legislations in your country? (United States, Canada)

4: Choosing the land.
best to get flat land that is just grass, no schrubbery or treese
5: What field supplies do i need?
Guns, bunkers, air, co2, bathrooms, rental stuff, paint, etc
6: Bunker and map architecture.

7: What about concurence and existing communities?

8: Finishing touches.

i kinda filled in some answers. Paintball isnt the best industry, and your going to take a loss when your starting up. The money you put in isnt going to come back as greatly as you anticipated. For the mostpart, the people who run them do it casue they love the sport...

Hob Hayward
05-17-2007, 01:04 PM
Of course, if one wanted money, they wouldn't be playing paintball in the first place.

I also have been desirous of starting a field near me (primarily because there isn't one within an hours drive. Biggest issue though is that land in the area I live in is wort ha ridiculous amount, to buy 15 acres would probably be upwards of 5 mil.

05-17-2007, 01:37 PM
Here is a question:
To fill HPA, you need a compressor, to fill co2 what do you need?

Is there a co2 compressor or you just have to fill the tanks in a hardware store?

Jack In The Box
05-17-2007, 08:24 PM
Taillo, as far as I understand, (and this is just because I have used some welding equipment) co2 can be purchased at industrial welding supply outlets. You basically rent the containers, and they come in when you need them filled and exchange the empty ones with filled ones. I am not sure about other states besides Oregon, but I also understand that here, in order to use compressors large enough to fill 3000 to 4500+ Hpa, you need a divers permit. I think this is just so the city/state whatever, knows that you are qualified to use these compressors.

Hope this helps.

05-18-2007, 12:03 AM
I suppose you can run without a compressor and just buy tanks?

Jack In The Box
05-18-2007, 12:11 PM
I would guess yes, however that will limit who comes to your field. Seasoned players no the importance and difference that HPA brings. Without compressed air I think that would dramatically effect your business. Thats just my opinion. Also, a lot of the new high end markers dont use co2. I don't know of any places that fill HPA tanks and then deliver them, and that doesnt really seem cost effective when you can fill directly to the markers from a compressor hose.

I wouldn't think a permit is too awful hard to get. Check into it.

05-18-2007, 08:36 PM
Ill look for the legislation about hpa in canada, but i found a place in the target area that delivers all kind of gaz as a service and refill them, just have to check what is the cost. Do you know about gaz quantities required? maybe this can be calculated by gaz/players or gaz/week?

05-18-2007, 09:45 PM
While your checking on Co2 prices check on Nitrogen as well, basically the same as Compressed Air, with minor differences but it can be delivered in large quanties just like Co2. Other option is if you have somebody locally that can fill scuba tanks, many welder supply shops can do it. Only downside is that scuba tanks can only be filled to 3000psi (a little more if you get the right guy filling your tanks) and 3 or 4 scuba tanks with fill staions setup in series will keep ya provding a decent amount of air to your players.
One thing I didn't see you mention was liability insurance. Even if you have everybody sign "hold harmless" waivers you still could be exposed to certain liability issues. You might want to contact an insurance agent and get details pertaining to what your planning.

05-19-2007, 12:35 AM
I glad i have your help, thanks everyone. This has not popped my bubble but encouraged me to continue more seriously. What i am planning is really not big. I dont want to make a gold mine out of it, but self sufficient would be great... hehe

Jack In The Box
05-19-2007, 08:29 AM
Good luck Taillo. I wish you the best.

05-19-2007, 09:22 AM
Well, I don't know what kind of help this will be, but I helped start our field almost 3 years or more ago, and was basically it's only customer for the first year of service...I've been through it's ups and downs, so I think I can speak a bit on this!

1: Where to start? Well you need to think about the area in which you're planning this. Is there an interest? What sort of interest is it? Speedball, woodsball, outlaw, tournament, scenario? No interest = failure in paintball. Don't even start!

Remember, we speak very highly of speedball and tournament play a lot around here, but the bread and butter of ANY field is it's rec players. And a lot of those guys are going to be woodsballers. ESPECIALLY newer players - it's a slower pace, most usually, and they feel more comfortable hiding behind trees.

2: What kind of investment are we talking about? A significant amount, at first.

You need to buy or lease the land, unless you already own it (we were lucky in that the land was already owned by the proprietor. If it's in town, you'll need permits for firing the paintball guns, as well as other permits that businesses require.

You'll need a substantial amount of rental packages (guns, tanks, loaders, masks, and neck guards - new players want protection everywhere!) You'll need netting (about a buck a square foot in most places.) You'll also need supplies for building different types of bunkers - unless you plan on buying all air fields, in which case, they run from about 1000.00 used to 2000.00+ for new fields. All this can be had from eBay, by the way!

You'll need some type of building - we actually have a larger premade building, but we had to move it from in town. Most fields I've been to use a trailor of some sort. Inside this trailor you'll need your basics - Co2 (this is going to be used the most). You're right, you can get this from any welding supply store. We pay about 35.00 per bottle with an 80.00 a year deposit for Co2. We also get Nitrogen bottles from the same company at about 50.00-60.00 a month per bottle with the same monthly deposit. If you could handle it, a compressor would be handy to recharge the bottles - in fact, you wouldn't need the bottles if you had the compressor.

3: What are the existing legislations in your country? (United States, Canada) Not sure. But we had to get a lawyer to set everything up. You may do the same.

4: Choosing the land. I'd select land that has a variety of landscapes - a large wooded area, so you can have a decent woodsfield (or two) and a fairly large flat grassy area so you can have a variety of speedball fields. This way you make EVERYONE happy.

5: What field supplies do i need? Field packages - not everyone is going to have their own gear. Guns, masks, loaders, tanks (both HPA and Co2), neck guards, etc. If you have air fields, you'll need a leaf blower or two to air up then bunkers. Normal tools, oring kits, oil, etc. Everything YOU need for your guns, multiplied times 100 to handle all the other guns and customers who'll need your help.

6: Bunker and map architecture. Most fields I've been to have at least one supair field, a spool field, and plywood bunker speedball fields, sometimes more than one. They ALL have at least two types of woods fields. Remember to get that woodsball field up and going first though! Rec players are your paycheck!

7: What about concurence and existing communities? Speak with your Chamber of Commerce and City Zoning committees. ESPECIALLY if you're going to build inside town. Every community has different rules. But you can bet they won't let you build near a residence zoned area. Too much noise and mess!

8: Finishing touches. Who knows? A paintball field is an evolving process - you start here, then next year it's totally different. You have to keep up with trends and such and strive to make changes as often as possible to keep your customers happy and interested. Otherwise, they'll go somewhere else to play.

Hope this helps a bit. I would have recommended NPS to start you off, but they've turned into the anti-christ lately. You'd do good to start with them, because you can get what you need pretty quickly, but I'd recommend once you're set up and going to move to some other companies - especially with paint purchases.

Watch ebay and other forums for deals on field packages and such. Lots of times, owners close down and just try to liquidate everything. You can save A LOT of money this way....

Good luck with it!

05-19-2007, 01:03 PM
Wow that was pretty complete. Thanks for you writing time. Im planning to do this on the outskirts of town, trying to find a field accessible by public transportation. The first difficulty is finding the good field, but i have other steps to do before, like completing a business starting course... In canada there are some organizations helping the young entrepreneurs, ill go to them first to startup the whole process.

There's still one thing where im confused because you talked about getting the compressors, but it is only for HPA?

People says that HPA and Nitrogen is basically the same, then it works with a compressor, but can you compress CO2 yourself or is CO2 the only thing left to rent?

05-19-2007, 01:35 PM
May i suggest something?
I dont know if you have many fields near you, but if you go talk to that manager. If you become good enough buddies with him, then actually he may hook you up, and you all could start your business together....

Just an idea.

05-19-2007, 02:39 PM
HPA and Nitro are the same thing, basically what you breathe all the time in the air. As such, a compressor is good for re-pressurizing Nitrogen/CA (compressed air) tanks, or just plain ol' filling tanks. Of course, it has to be one rated to fill to at the minimum of 3000 psi, a regular shop compressor won't work!

You can't use them to pressurize Co2 as it is a liquid. Compressing the liquid turns it into a gaseous state, thereby allowing it to be used as a propellant. However, the tank must have a DIP tube in it for it to be of use to fill tanks at a field - otherwise you have to turn it upside down.

Hob Hayward
05-19-2007, 07:11 PM
Yeah, make sure you get a tank with a siphon tube.

Also, look out for wily welding supply shops, one of near me turned me down yesterday when I called about renting a 50lb tank. Said they didn't want liability, not there is one, but I'm not gonna start arguing with the guy...