It was during a 2011 interview on the television program Bloomberg Enterprise that Mr. Shannon said "I don't think anyone takes bowling seriously - why would you?" The interview is archived on YouTube - click on the image below to watch it. (The quote is at 2:45 into the interview.)

In all fairness to Tom Shannon

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It's very unlikely that Shannon would say that now.


‚ÄčAt the time Shannon was enjoying the success of Bowlmor Lanes, which he started with the 1997 purchase of a dilapidated bowling center in New York City and grew to become the highest grossing bowling facility operators in North America, according to Wikipedia. Interviews with Mr. Shannon seemed to imply that his success was due, in part, to the elimination of league bowling in order to focus on party bowling.


In 2013, Shannon was the sole bidder to take the much larger AMF Bowling Centers chain out of bankruptcy, forming Bowlmor AMF. In order to quickly address its dire financial situation, Shannon reduced the AMF centers' opening hours to the times when there were many customers. This change displaced many daytime leagues, and a few nighttime ones, too, leading league bowlers to believe he would soon be eliminating leagues altogether at all of the acquired centers.


But as Bowlmor AMF's financial position improved, Shannon appeared to want to figure out how to make league bowling work. In early 2014 he appointed a Director of League Bowling. In the summer of 2014, when Bowlmor AMF announced its intention to acquire the bowling center business of Brunswick Bowling, his nearest competitor, Shannon stated clearly that league bowling would be kept at the acquired centers. And in October of 2014, when Bowlmor AMF signed on as a major sponsor of the Professional Bowlers Association, Shannon referred to the sponsorship as evidence of his company's commitment to growing both league and professional bowling.


It seems clear now that Mr. Shannon believes some do take bowling seriously, and that taking bowling seriously may even be good for business.