The Rose City Raid 2018 has come and gone, and I'm exhausted. This is the first time I've taken to organizing and running an ITS tournament with more than 12 players, and man it was a blast! Today I'm going to start on a short series of articles about how the Rose City Raid 2018 came to be, and give suggestions for people who are looking into running their own large tournament.
The whole story begins when I was having a conversation about bigger ITS tournaments with a friend, which we had last August. We both like playing the ITS format, though I travel more than he does to reach them. Really the foundation of the project began when we were asking each other, how come nobody plays a tournament somewhere cool? We've played in tournaments in convention centers, hotels, community centers, and game stores, which are all serviceable, but nothing about those locations really has any character.
"Wouldn't it be cool to play in a brewery?" we mused, and before we knew it, it had been decided that it must be done. Portland, where we live, is home to no less than 68 microbreweries, so surely we could find one to host a tournament at.
Our first project was to take the daunting task of going to different breweries, testing the food and beer, to find the right home for our tournament. It was a thankless job, but Jon, Nate, and I were up to the task.
Upon entering the Lucky Labrador Brew Hall in the North-West section of Portland, we knew we had a winner. They have a good-sized banquet hall attached to the brewery, the perfect size for our fledgling tournament. The three of us ordered a round of drinks and a bit of food to make sure everything was in order, and proceeded to talk with the manager about the cost of renting out the hall. Compared to other venues we looked into, the Lucky Labrador was incredibly affordable, didn't require a minimum food or drink purchase, and the space comes with a dedicated bartender for the event.
We were reserving the space well in advance of the tournament (September 2017 for an event in June 2018), so we had no problem getting the weekend we wanted. We picked June 23-24 because it is after college finals, but not an overlapping weekend with any other major events we could find.