By Jeff “Laca” Conway
The USNJAC – better known as Magic City’s national jai-alai tournament – is still on and scheduled for the weekend of December 5-6th . This is the 4th date the highly anticipated event has been scheduled because of issues arising from the Corona virus. The event will go on unless closures are re-implemented in Miami-Dade County. With cases skyrocketing across the country – anything could happen – but with Donald Trump still residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Ron DeSantis still the governor of Florida, don’t expect any drastic changes until at least January 20th when “Sleepy Joe” takes over.
The revised tournament now has less than half the amount of players as compared to the original date set in April due to scheduling and virus issues. When players show up, they will be required to submit to an on-site rapid test and must test negative. This is the same test required for all Magic City employees. The casino claims the reliability has been good, but many on-site testing facilities have been “shaky” at best. False “positives” at on-site testing facilities have been questionable with further, more reliable testing coming back “negative”. Players showing up to play risk this happening and will be have to leave.
Once a “negative” test has been established, players will enter the fronton and will be assigned to socially-distanced changing station – the same procedure required by the current roster. Players are required to wear a mask at all times except when playing.
No spectators are allowed into the fronton to watch the event live and only 4 guests/family members of the players will be permitted to view the event on YouTube in the sports club.
The huge jackpots for the winners reman in place and the event should be exciting to watch. Just wished there were better circumstances surrounding it. Magic City management is doing the best job possible given the cards dealt to them.