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Old 04-12-2019, 10:03 AM
Boneman's Avatar
Boneman Boneman is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Titusville
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Default If you think racing is sick, compare it to...

If you think racing is sick, compare it to Jai-alai.

This is a thread about racing, so stick with me a minute.

I love the game of jai-alai. It is a beautiful, exciting sport that requires skill and athleticism. You can bet on it too! This game was a big deal when I grew up in Miami. I think they played every night and most afternoons. The crowds were large, noisy and the money was flowing.

I have been 3 times in the last year or so, and am truly dismayed at the state of the sport. The game and skill level is the same, but the crowds are tiny, and the atmosphere? Its like waiting in line for a drivers license.

Can you see the parallel to OUR sport?

What went wrong with the game is less important than how to fix it. Maybe there is some cross-over to what racing needs (although racing is healthy in many places).

The show has not evolved at all. The players are still Spanish speaking guys with names that cannot be pronounced. "Zuleika" and "Urtaran", for example. I guess it is part of their tradition, but can the fans connect? Can our fans still connect with 45 year old Monte Carlos and Chevelles? Got to evolve a little and keep things more current...

Also, I have never seen a female player. They could really use one! Or five! The current players are fit and strong, but it does not take a giant body like football does. In other words, there is nothing stopping qualified women from playing. They could really use the media buzz is some female players turned into stars. At least NASCAR is trying to produce capable drivers who are women and from other backgrounds. (Not fair to young white drivers, but that is a different topic).

Atmosphere. It is so important to our tracks success, and I can assure you that jai alai has completely neglected it. The players seldom interact with the fans even though they are just a few feet away. The officials all look like they are on guard duty; uninterested and disconnected. The fronton is pretty quiet. Too quiet; maybe they could benefit from some pretty "ring girls" like boxing uses, or some smoke machines, lasers, a DJ, glow in the dark balls, flaming cestas, wandering goats, who knows what?

The old photo shows a typical crowd at Miami's fronton. Currently, they average less than 100.

Evolution, presentation and atmosphere. I would sit and watch a oil painting tournament as long as those three things were in place.

Go visit your favorite track this weekend!
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:39 PM
OldSchool+'s Avatar
OldSchool+ OldSchool+ is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 3,448

I ain't gambling on racing!

Too easy to put "the fix" in now, much less if there was money riding on it.

To your point, however, I was recently in Nashville and they had a sporting event at an arena that I walked past.

I really don't know what they were doing inside the arena (since it was not racing), but what I did notice was the show outside the ticket booths, which looked something like:


Robert Yoho could emcee...
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:16 AM
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zerofor zerofor is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,355

The only way I would EVER bet on racing is if I were still racing and somebody walked up to me and said I will bet you nothing will go wrong for you tonight.That would just be TOO good a bet to pass up.Jai Lai? You mean they haven't all been converted into soccer players yet?
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