Magic City Fronton In Miami Seeks Owners For Jai Alai Team League

Written By Brant James on May 19, 2022 - Last Updated on May 20, 2022
People Can Now Own Jai-Alai Teams For 100,000

Credit Magic City Casino for not letting jai alai fade into oblivion without firing a couple of chic-chacs.

The Miami fronton – the only active one in North America – is seeking owners for the second installment of its so-called Battle Court season, beginning Sept. 23.

Battle Court groups the player colony onto four teams for singles and double matches, with a player or team required to capture two out of three sets that are played to six points, according to a release.

Here’s what owners get for a “fixed cost” of $100,000:

  • A seat at the Draft Day table. Jerry Jones paid $140 million to do this with the Dallas Cowboys. Advantage, Battle Court
  • “Determining pivotal matchups for their squad,” according to a release. Jeffrey Lurie spent $194 million to make sure Jalen Hurts is the Eagles’ quarterback. Advantage, Battle Court
  • Enjoy direct access to players. Insert any pro team owner here. Advantage, Battle Court
  • Get access to a VIP area during games, special events, and more. Yeah. Advantage, Battle Court
  • Oh, and “owners of the season’s winning squad earn revenue sharing based on wagering, sponsorship and media rights from the season.” Advantage every other league. But this fronton wasn’t built in a day
  • What owners don’t get is to “keep” the team once the season is over. Advantage everyone else.

Jai alai still fighting for survival in the wake of voided Seminoles gambling compact

Scott Savin, chief operating officer at Magic City Jai-Alai, said in a release.

“This is a rare chance to own a sports team without a lot of the downsides of traditional sports team ownership opportunities. When you become an owner of one of our squads, you get a seat at the table on Draft Day when key decisions are made. You also see the dedication that these players put forth on that court firsthand and how thrilling this game really is.”

“We could not believe the level of engagement and the desire to win showcased by each of our owners in our first season and how passionate they have become about the game,” said Savin.

Betting on Magic City Jai-Alai is available in seven other states through the facility’s partnership with BetRivers. While play is conducted at the venue three days, a week, it’s open to the public just one.

Chris Cote, producer of the ‘Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,’ owned the Cesta Cyclones team that won Battle Court I in April.

Among those unlikely to fork over the hundred grand would be any members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida or employees over at Hard Rock International.

Magic City was one of two pari-mutuel outlets whose lawsuits eventually led to the Seminoles’ 2021 gambling compact – which brought the Tribe state-wide mobile sports betting and craps and roulette at its six Florida casinos – being voided by a federal judge.

Jai alai’s tenure in Florida was threatened in the process of Gov. Ron DeSantis negotiating that pact, with the State Legislature voting to allow pari-mutuel facilities to drop live harness racing or jai alai as a provision for offering certain casino or card games.

Magic City keeps banging away, though, expanding its player roster with the collapse of two other South Florida frontons, entering into a distribution deal that includes Roku and making a push on Tik Tok.

Photo by Rebecca Blackwell / The Associated Press
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Brant James

Brant James is a veteran journalist who has twice been recognized in the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, most recently in 2020. He's covered motorsports, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball among a myriad of others beats and written enterprise and sports business for publications including USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com.

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