Based on all of comments to this thread maybe Vintage should take page from Old School and hold more regional events with very small prize pool and the proceeds going mostly to charity.
The Old School events are getting more that 80 players and they are drawing players from all over the country. If there are issues getting a monthly event fired in local areas maybe do a yearly or bi-yearly event to get a better draw. If this was done on a regional level we could have more events with more people. The EV would be next to zero but there would be more paper Vintage played.
This is something I could get behind. I know some local card store owners would be down with this my area.
I dunno, I've run an annual full-proxy charity Vintage event the last two years with a small prize pool in an area that doesn't get a ton of Vintage events, and haven't broken the 20 player mark either time. I really marketed the hell out of it this year too, so I don't know that what you're describing is the solution.