Update Nov. 4, 2016: BowlmorAMF has completed the conversion of Carolier to a Bowlero, and apparently the company no longer is interested in hosting major tournaments like the U.S. Open or USBC Masters.
USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy made this post on Facebook on Nov. 4:
"We have been informed that at this time it's not an option. Haven't been told no forever. We continue to have an open dialogue with Bowlmor about future events at all their centers."
No lanes will be removed when Brunswick Zone Carolier is renovated next year, a company executive told 11thFrame.com Thursday.
And conflicting events — not the renovation, which won’t start until May 2016 or later — was the reason the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Masters could not be held at the 82-lane center in North Brunswick, N.J., Colie Edison, BowlmorAMF vice president of marketing, said in a phone interview.
PBA with USBC had announced in this news release last year that they had a deal to hold the 2016 Masters at Carolier. No date was given but it was to be part of the PBA Tour schedule, which everyone I know took to mean the ESPN portion in the winter.
“We will not be removing any lanes,” Edison said, noting that she grew up bowling at Carolier. “We have no appetite for misplacing any of our leagues.”
Edison said the renovation will involve lanes 1 to 48, which will be converted to the company’s upscale Bowlero concept, while the arcade also will be built out a little.
“And unlike any other conversion we have done, (lanes 1-48) will have the ability to bowl white light,” meaning they can operate in a mode for traditional leagues and tournaments, Edison said.
Lanes 49 to 82 will not be changed and will stay open, she said.
“The center is never going to close for renovation,” Edison said. “We’re going to renovate half the house and stay open the entire time.”
The bottom line is that when the renovation is done, Carolier still will have 82 lanes capable of hosting traditional competition.
The center has hosted numerous major tournaments with huge fields and having it reduced to roughly half its current size would be a big blow to competitive bowling.
Carolier next week is hosting the 2015 Bowlmor AMF U.S. Women's Open.
“We’re very excited about that,” Edison said.
Carolier also is scheduled to host the 2016 NCAA Women’s Bowling Championships April 14-16, 2016, she said.
In a post on a Facebook thread about Carolier later on Thursday, Edison said:
"Ok folks, found out some more details. So, there was never a signed agreement for Carolier to host the Masters. While there were some initial conversations, which clearly were shared too soon, there was never an inked deal, so in actuality, the news about the Masters being held at Carolier was the first rumor! The NCAA Tournament has been planned since 2013 at Carolier and will be held in April 2016. Hope this helps clarify some things - and again, I'd like to reiterate how important our league bowlers are to us at Brunswick Zone Carolier and we will continue to support them as our organization grows and develops. We look forward to growing together as a community."
Having the NCAA in April still doesn't explain why the Masters couldn't be held in February.
A scenario that makes sense to me is that a renovation was planned for February so the Masters couldn't be held then so it was moved.
But Bowlmor then realized either that the renovation would impact the NCAA tournament, or it would be too big of an impact on its business during the height of the bowling season, so it was postponed to May or later.