By Jeff “Laca” Conway
The two-month Dania Jai-alai Invitational Event is now over, with Urutia/Mandiola taking the championship by beating Iturbide/Oyhenard 21-12 late Saturday night in the finals. It was an exciting two months for the fronton, which had appeared to be destined to be a “hotel lobby” or something when it was announced jai-alai was over for good. Decent crowds and handle helped spark bringing lot of people into the building to watch some real exciting jai-alai action.
Jai-alai will return – likely on Friday, December 1, 2023 for at least another two-month season. Using the same format makes sense – its economical and avoids the “pesky” visa issues. We do know the owners were pleased with the results. Of course, a longer season would be desired, but not feasible in these days.
The accounting team will do a deep dive and produce their analysis of the two-month season so actually see if it was profitable or close to it.
On the players side, all the players (not heading to Magic City) have been invited back for next season. So far, only two players have indicated they cannot return. In the springtime, Benny will start actively scouting players to fill out the roster.
Here is a bunch of charts on the season of just about all the odds you could imagine (special thanks to Mo Crank of the SayHiLi Site for preparing these):