Dania jai-alai will conclude its successful “return” season this week. It will also feature the final partido’s to determine the winners of some nice prize money.
The crowds and handle have been decent, and the quality of play has been phenomenal. If you get a chance to get over there, do so, as it is must better live and in person than watching on a TV or phone screen. The season ends this Sunday with a 1pm matinee.
This season, Dania was able to be pulled off without the 16 or so young Basque players from Spain and France requiring expensive and time confusing visas or the necessary legal requirements to stay in the United States for two months because they are competing in a tournament and not actually receiving a salary. Their pay is based on a per diem allowance (a specific amount of money to cover living expenses when traveling) and prize money. It’s a once in a lifetime experience for these young men (some are 18 years old) to be able to come to America and play a sport professionally that they have been playing back home since little kids. On their off time (Sunday evening to Wednesday evening), some of the players have been able to sneak off to NYC or the Florida Keys for a visit.
There has been some more good news – Benny announced during a broadcast that there will be a “season” next year – likely the same format as this years – for 2022-2023 to run again in December and January. Those dates are now registered with the State. There is talk of adding the month of February and another spring tournament like last year, but nothing is finalized yet. Extending the season at least a month makes total sense – there’s far more tourists in town in February (even more in March) and breaking even or coming close to or making a small profit is certainly doable. At least its bringing people into the building. As I have said before, the owners like jai-alai, and they like Benny, and would love to keep it going.
Statistical charts complied by Straymar and his staff. You can visit his site at Sayhili.com.