Want to get out on the long weekend to see the fireworks on the 4th of July? You're in luck: the American Pyrotechnics Association estimates that there are over 16,000 firework displays on that holiday, according to its 2018 estimates. And of course, that's legal displays; the Association is probably not counting your own Uncle Sam dangerously shooting bottle rockets in the street here.
However, while everyone is going out to watch the fireworks, there will be 45,000 other events that weekend where hundreds of thousands of people will be playing Magic the Gathering instead.
Back in the 1990's, Wizards of the Coast put together a super company of physical games. At the same time as it popularized the collectable card game Magic: The Gathering, it bought out TSR, a failing publisher that had the red-hot role-playing-game Dungeons & Dragons. Then, in 1999, Wizards of the Coast was absorbed by Hasbro ($HAS).
Two decades later, Wizards of the Coast spans coast-to-coast with events in game shops and arenas big and small. And, with the 4th of July weekend coming up, Hasbro is poised to take over the patriotic holiday with over 45,000 events planned.
Out of these 45,000 plus events, the overwhelming majority of them are for Magic the Gathering.
Why is this the case? Because this is when the Core Set of Cards eligible for play in 2020 — only cards released for that year are eligible in normal competive Magic the Gathering events — will be available for purchase, and game shops from Chicago to China will be hosting prerelease parties.
The other reason behind this sheer number of events is Friday Night Magic, a tradition among the MTG community where friends and community members kick back after a long work or school week with some card games.
In terms of scale, few companies have been so engrained into not just North America, but the entire world. According to data from Wizards of the Coast Events, there are at least 6,400 stores that run events for Magic the Gathering, as well as Dungeons & Dragons, on six different continents.
So yes; around the world, there will be more Magic the Gathering events than legal 4th of July firework displays.