Jai-Alai Chalk Talk Hall of Fame

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State of the Sport

Posted on January 29, 2007 at 03:38:32 PM by King Booker

Big Bend- How anyone can actually be excited about this amazes me. I personally can't wait for another fronton with 6 post singles games. This is only an attempt to get in the door before the live dates requirement to run poker is passed in FL legislature. And hopefully VLT's down the road.

I know Tony stands up for him, but Richards has neither the desire or ability to run Jai-Alai successfully. Think about this. They could have had Big Dave in Hamilton for a very reasonable price, but instead he chose to have his wife run the marketing end. Nuff said.

Hamilton and Big Bend are only a means to and end, and that is not Jai-Alai. Sorry to burst the bubble for the last few of you that thought something different.

Ocala- Not much has been said about them lately and 2nd chance coming in. He actually seems to want to try to make it work, but in such a small town how that can happen is the question. I do wish him the best, though.

Dania- Made the trip down and it was nice to see the guys one last time. But I can tell you employee morale there is totally destroyed, even with Boyd about to come in. They're closing the 2nd floor cafe and the entrance that is on Dania Beach Blvd. The place will look closed to everyone but the long time regulars when this is done.

That place should be buzzing with Boyd coming in, but instead it is dreadful. Then again, with cutbacks and layoffs happening already, what would one expect? I don't want to be the harbinger of bad news, but with Hollywood/Mardi Gras already stating they are going to lobby to remove the live date requirement to run the slots, Sen. Geller saying he has the votes to pass the bill this year to remove the live date requirement for poker and Dania cutting stuff back like this, one has to start to wonder.

Texas- From what I've heard, they are not very optimistic on it actually getting it passed this year. But it was always known that getting Jai-Alai approved there was a long shot. They're starting to put out feelers to LA.

Miami- Pretty much hanging around patiently for this Novemeber. Realizing this is their last shot for slots, they may get a little more involved this time around as it could be all or nothing for them.

Orlando- Put on another good Citrus this year, but they're still in decline. Even with a solid roster, if you don't have the rest of the puzzle together it's just not going to work out.

FYI- Simulcast costs between $500 and $1000 a performance for the uplink costs, depending on company and whether analog or digital. The frontons have to record the live games by FL law, so those costs are already there and would not be additional.

If this sport is to do more than just stay on life support things must change. If you cannot connect with the 18-34 year old male demographic you will not thrive in pro sports. It doesn't matter how good the roster is or if you have a brand new state of the art building.

Jai-Alai is still a great sport, with some great athletes. Give people a comprehensive product and market it correctly, and this sport can still stand on its own. I just don't see anyone running the frontons now that can connect with the next generation. In the age of Youtube, the Ipod, myspace, high definition everything and short attention spans, it will take a vibrant young mind to attract the new generation.

Yeah, and I know that all takes money, but like my grandpa used to tell me, it takes money to make money. And that goes double for anyone in the entertainment industry. You need some bling if you're going to be the thing. Now can you diggeth that?


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