The St. Pete Cancha is making great progress as its near completion. America’s first public court is going to be a great amateur court when competed.
New logos were painted on the side walls over the weekend of 11/6 along with a red metal frame around the front wall. During last week, most of the netting has been completed to protect the court from wild throws. However, parts of it is a work in progress. The overhang netting at the front part of the court is still an issue, as deep looping reverse throws often get halted in action after hitting the overhead netting. It was improved over the weekend, but is still not ideal. Some have compared it to Calder Jai-alai, where high throws hit the top ceiling. But again, it’s a work in progress.
The last remaining items include a complete overhaul of the flooring. The original job was awarded to a contractor and work was supposed to start nearly a month ago. Unfortunately, the company that won the biding process went out of business! A new process of getting at least 3 competitive bids was held and we are awaiting an update on that process.
End of August 2021. As you can see from the photos. The major expansion work for America’s first and only public jai-alai court continues.
Earlier this week, several NJAA players and even our Magic City star were out there busting their butt’s assembling the wall extension what was added to the old court about 5 years ago. This addition now makes the entire side wall at least 20 feet high, a drastic difference and double what the court originally had.
The walls are coming along fine. They have been filled with cement and smoothed out – another huge improvement to the court. The huge fencing and netting project has also commenced as you can see in the photos with the huge black metal poles in place.
The next project involves the flooring. This will begin in early September and involves removing and replacing some of the slabs which are badly cracked. This phase is expected to take about a month.
Next to the court will be a soccer area which will comprise of two of the practice racquetball courts on the other side of the front wall. One of the original 3 has been torn down and is now part of the new St. Pete Cancha. The new length of the court will be close to 105 feet long – bringing it close to Matt’s in Connecticut and other amateur courts around the world.
The goal is to have the court ready by Halloween time.
A big grand opening event will be scheduled at some point – we would like to give at least 30 days’ notice to people so they can plan it with visitors expected from Connecticut, south Florida and perhaps from Spain like Calzacorta did for our original grand opening in April 2008.
There will be a resumption to the Magic City vs. NJAA event also, in which several players from Magic City come up to play on the court in a two-day event wrapped around Tampa’s huge Gasparilla event. The event draws upwards of 400,000 people, involving hundreds of boats and a long several mile long parade all involving a pirate invasion that is the 3rd largest parade in the United States. And yes, El Barba made a good looking pirate here a couple years ago! A date on the tournament will be announced later this fall.