Mark, I sure hope the Tampa folks can resurrect jai-alai in
The population in Tampa alone is huge and even better when you factor in St. Pete, and other nearby cities with high populations.
In the early 90s I use to drive from Gainesville to Tampa on the weekends when Ocala Jai-alai was off-season.
Tampa Jai-alai was worth every minute of that two hour drive!
A new jai-alai facility located in any highly populated area in Florida has potential do well because the main problem for jai-alai today is the current condition of the remaining facilities.
Miami Jai-alai was a beautiful facility where people from all over would come to find out what the heck is jai-alai.
Once they came in the door, the excitement of jai-alai did the rest and kept them coming back for more.
Miami had one of the most diverse crowds I had ever seen.
People of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, families, couples, non-gamblers, serious gamblers, etc.
So instead of improving what they had to offer to patrons, over the years they simply let the building deteriorate.
I know you have to be making money to maintain and renovate a fronton but my question is and will always be why didn't they do necessary repairs and improvements when they WERE making money.
Miami Jai-alai today should be a beautiful historical building with a fresh coat of paint, bright lights and a well lit parking lot where people can feel safe coming and going from the fronton.
On the inside, much of the structural aspects should have remained the same but definitely maintained and freshly painted.
To move with the times, they should have added state-of-the-art electrical equipment such as television screens, lighting, cameras, etc.
Comfortable spectator seats, nice concession stands and a family restaurant are a must because people go to entertainment facilities for an afternoon or evening of entertainment which for most includes food as well.
Shiny, clean surfaces all over especially in the bathrooms are a must. lol
Yeah, of course its too late to talk about what Miami should be today or any fronton for that matter but it makes no sense to me why any business owner would allow their product get to this point.
Now they are losing money and can't even install the miracle slot machines because they can't afford to make the needed improvements.
Yes it is going to take a miracle for some of the older frontons to survive because the casinos down the road already have shiny clean surfaces, slot machines, card rooms, bright lights, big screen televisions, great restaurants, etc.
What the other facilities don't have is jai-alai which is something you can market but not in a building that is old, dingy, and falling apart.
It truly sucks for future generations because jai-alai is a unique entertainment experience that I wish everyone could experience at least once in their lives.
Unfortunately today, people won't come to a fronton unless they hear about it first and even if you do tell them about it, most won't come inside or stay inside long enough to truly grasp what jai-alai is because their first impression of the product/facility is usually not a very good one.