The last remaining full court jai-alai fronton in America is closing its doors. Yes, the Fat Lady is singing.
Dania Jai-alai is in its 69th season, and apparently its last. The owners likely have had enough with losing money and had its attorney send a letter to the UAW of their intentions to shut down at the conclusion of the season, which is November 28th. Jai-alai operators were able to shut down jai-alai games July 31st while maintaining card games, slots, etc. in a decoupling measure that was passed last spring.
The UAW is the players union. There will be legal hurdles ahead, but whether that stops Dania from running a season in 2022, will remain a challenge.
This is sad news, and will likely be the end of goatskin, parimutuel wagering, full-court jai-alai in America. The only other jai-alai court in operation is Magic City, which today is more resembling a recording studio staging one on one games for sports betting – that is only allowed in two states at the moment. They have been cutting back on their parimutuel schedule dramatically and only allowing fans in the building one afternoon a week.
Dania opened in 1953, and for decades saw crowds in access of 7,000 a night on weekends and was actually called “The Palace”.