Decoupling of jai-alai went into effect August 1st, but that is not hindering America’s only full-length jai-alai fronton from opening.
Unless you have been to the moon or somewhere, its likely your aware decoupling was passed this past spring allowing jai-alai frontons to continue other means of gambling without having to run live jai-alai games to keep their permit. Of course, most of the other frontons will be closing down. Calder is running out their schedule which concludes in a couple weeks. Miami is free to open year-round Cirque du Soleil or whatever they have planned. Instead of watching Goiko and Lopez out there, you get a completely different show. Ocala can get rid of their black curtains and hope a farmer will buy much of their property. Orlando could give a rat’s ass either way. Ft. Piece could use some night life now – perhaps turn the court into a nightclub?
OK, kidding aside, there is one full sized, goat-skin fronton that will stay open. And that is Dania Jai-alai. As we first reported several months ago, they fully intend on staying open – for a while. They just need your support like showing up!
The season opens September 1st. There will be matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 1pm. The Sunday matinee has been moved from 4pm to 1pm. Evening performances will run Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm. Hooray! Prime Time Jai-alai! Great schedule.
The roster has some changes. Bailo has chosen to retire and will not return in the fall. He will not be replaced by another backcourter as they have two frontcourters in Elgezabal and Aratz that are actually both backcourters currently playing the front. The decision on which of the two will move to the back will be made soon.
Dania has brought in two frontcourters to complete in the 26-man roster. One of the frontcourters is number 16 Goenaga who was here a few season ago but had visa problems and could not return. The other one is a young player by the name of Cosme. He is from the same town as Goiko and was heavily recommended by Inali as a prospect for the future. Unfortunately, Dania applied for the visas in April and they have not been approved yet. The are hoping that their visas will be approved soon but enable to start the season in September they are currently looking for a couple of players that can fill those spots until those visa applications are approved.
Unlike other seasons, the Dania season will end November 28th, which is the last Sunday in November. Normally they play two weeks in December but this year they will end at the end of November. It is too bad that there will be no jai-alai over Christmas thru New Years’ time, usually the busiest tourist season time.
Dania is currently scheduled to return in February and play thru the end of April. They intend on adding a month to the winter season to make it four months in total – but have not made the final decision if that will be January or if it will be in May. Nonetheless, the season in the winter time, after the three month fall season will be a total of four months.
Dania is looking forward to the beginning of the fall season and are also hoping that they will be able to continue the fall challenge with a Partido action that they have had in the last three fall seasons. Those decisions will be made in September. Hopefully they bring those back. Nothing beats those partidos.
Its time to support Jai-alai folks. There’s no guarantee how long this will go. And kudos to Scott Savin at Magic City for all they are doing there!