I was recently listening to “The Dollop” podcast about the history of bowling and while interesting they make a major point at the end to claim the reason for bowling’s demise in America (The United States only has 1/3rd of the bowling alleys it had at it’s peak in the 1970’s despite the fact the US added 1/3rd to its population since then) is solely due to the fact of wage stagnation and the destruction of the blue collar job. Basically they claimed because people in the lower income brackets are now making less money than before like in the 1970’s/80’s they don’t have enough money to spend on “frivolous” fun things like bowling anymore.
This set off all sorts of alarm bells to me because they stated it so confidently but never addressed the other elephant in the room. Maybe the cultural and technological evolution since the 1970’s made bowling less appealing to people, why go out and bowl when you can stay at home and watch a movie, play bowling on your video game console, or do anything else that people seem more interested in now?
I looked up some articles and they basically split the difference, they claim that while bowling is more of a “white-collar” form of entertainment now they also claim increased pressures from other forms of entertainment. So whats the answer?