Times havent changed.
I went thru this back in the mid to late '80s. I hope my experiences described below will give you a perspective that you aren't alone in this. And that what you are struggling with isnt new. At the end, I have a suggestion for you.
I spent years working the bars. I enjoyed them pretty much for socializing. I did meet guys and dated them. But after several years, I never was finding someone that I wanted to partner up with with.
So I decided to break out and try other venues. First, I joined the local gay association and found out it was almost 100% AIDS activists. Fine, but that wasnt my passion, altho I did stay around as a member and assisted.
I tried the DC area sports association. First, volleyball. I had my pic published in The Washington Blade while playing (It was then that I saw how skinny I was and started working out. In the photo, I looked like I had the arm of a spider monkey or something! ...
Second, I went out with the inaugural horsebacking riding group. Eleven guys showed up....OH BOY ! ! ! On the second outing, there were 3, counting me ....and the other two were LOVERS ! ! ! I was like, "Lord! Ease up. I am trying to meet up with someone. Cut me a break here." I ended up being the only one to take 22 weeks of lessons...including jumping. (I never fell off my horse, nor sat my horse down! ...one guy did that by turning his horse too quickly with no warning to the horse.)
I finally found my niche at DC's country-western bar. I found that dancing...2-Stepping...and socializing with fellow dancers was my bliss. Boy! we had a hell of a good time weekend after weekend. As I have pointed out before on these threads, the dancing served as a kind of filter for the quality of men that one would meet. You had to have some else on the ball than just a desire for another guy's dick to apply yourself to learn how to dance...c-w dancing, btw, is ballroom type dancing, but you dont have to get dressed up for it.
I finally gave the dancing up because of the cigarette smoke. Now smoking in DC bars is illegal. I am getting well enough that I am beginning to really feel the itch to go back.
It sounds like maybe your niche doesnt exist where you are. You might actually have to create your niche. Either start a gay competitive sports group from scratch or hook up with some social type group that already exists and offer to develop such a group in association with that group.
In those days, when I was active with my local gay group, I learned that there was no gay organization for neighboring county, the largest county in Virginia...and right here in northern Virginia. So I took on the task of advertising and holding planning meetings (usually located in libraries) with gay in that county. Then with that gay group in VA's largest county, I went on to organizing local gay groups into a state-wide group.
So maybe figure out a way to advertise your desire to organize such a gay sports group and hold meetings in local library meeting rooms.