NJAA 6TH Anniversary Event April 12th /The NJAA will be celebrating its 6th anniversary event Saturday afternoon, April 12th at 2pm.
The event is expected to last several hours and will feature a “Merry Festival” like atmosphone.
Any player or fan of jai-alai will want to attend this free event, which last year attracted a
crowd of about 70 people and had the largest gathering of jai-alai players in Pinellas County
history. A whole new format will be in place for this event, featuring many more games, with more
handicapped games and less than 8 posts in most of the games, perhaps just 4 posts per game to keep
everybody in the game more involved. The exact format has not been set yet, as the NJAA will put a
great deal of planning into this event. Any suggestions are always welcome and Paul “Castanos” will
also organizing some of the games.
ABC News 28 Coverage April 5th
Players are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Families are more than welcome to come. An
expanded sized full-color program will be available with the lastest St.Pete jai-alai court news,
game by game entries, game selections and much more. Buster’s Courtside Grill will be open with
incredible Mazarro’s pizza cooked on an authentic pizza oven by the slice or entire pizza. Cheeseburgers
and hot dogs will again be available along with a wide assortment of beverages. A full-sound PA system
with Magic Mike’s amazing talking scoreboard will also be set up. Guest announcers, who did a great job
last year are welcome. Jai-alai legend Sarmiento (who won the first singles game ever in Tampa Jai-Alai
history in 1953 and was the top ITM player for that first season) will be there, along with Jose Goitia
(former frontcourt star from 1966-1983 and author of “The Other Side of the Screen”).
On the schedule once again will be a game of just former players and will again once
include ex-pro Newport, Rhode Island players Jai-a-Lou and Denver. Last year featured
the largest gathering on jai-alai players in Pinellas County history. The NJAA is the
first and only public jai-alai court open to the public in the United States, and opened
six years ago. Major expansion is on the drawing boards, but not expected to interfere with the events coming up.
All the action starts at 2pm, Saturday April 12th. The rain date will be April 26th.
The great news is that the week before the anniversary event, ABC Action News Channel 28 WFTS will
have an entire production crew at the Puryear Park cancha filming a story on our court, jai-alai
history and then have their entire morning crew of John Thomas, Ashley Glass and Bill Logan attempt
to play jai-alai. Four cameras will be on the scene, including a helmet camera on our own Eric M’s while he plays!
Dania Jai-alai has big plans coming up
From website "daniacasino.com"
Dania jai-alai just recently opened their casino - the 8th and last pari-mutual facility to do so in Broward and Dade counties Thursday night. But when you walk into the jai-alai side of it, you will be shocked at the size of the spectator area- just 17 feet wide with 3 or 4 rows of seats. Directly behind you is a monster sized wall- blocking off the major construction going on the other side.
Until I was able to talk to Benny, I had no idea of the plans in store. Right now, there is only 150 seats - unsloped - offering a close up and different perspective of the court. Unfortunately, your view is blocked by people walking by in an area in front of the court and others standing off to the side.
There are only two betting "booths" , one on each end of the court. The scoreboards are gone with a few TV monitors displaying the scores. Nothing with the game has changed- a full roster and same amount of games.
But after talking to Benny my thoughts of the place quickly changed.
Behind that big blue wall is the old spectator area of Dania Jai-alai. Thousands of seats are being ripped up to make room for several hundred more slot machines. Once compete, near the end of the year, that big wall will come, resulting in an amazing jai-alai casino resort.
By viewing the photos, you can see the transition coming. The court walls will be blue with the floor painted black. The huge wall will be replaced with a huge glass one - so players of the slot machines will can view the jai-alai court and vise versa. A unique ceiling and lighting will give the arena a Vegas/Foxwoods glow.
Perhaps the most amazing feature will be a large screen directly in the middle of the long side wall facing the crowd. Not sure how they are going to make this work- a huge high def screen as part of the wall showing video of the game, etc.!
On opening night of the casino, Benny took three tosses at an ice sculpture directly on the court, before it collapsed on the court!
The scoreboards will return in August along with many other features later on. The Argentina owners appear committed to making this entire operation a success. Right now, there is only 150 seats but with the new plans that will increase to nearly 500.
"Court improvements to city of St. Pete proposed by NJAA"
NJAA officials Eric Lanctot, Scott King and Paul Kubala meet with St. Pete city officials this week to discuss a wide assortment of these improvements. These drastic improvements would extend the court to slightly over 100 feet long while extending the wall lengths about 4-5 feet. Complete resurfacing would be included as well as additional lighting. The overhead netting would be increased dramatically to protect balls from flying out of the court.
These additions would dramatically improve the court playing conditions similar to the improvements made last year. There is no timetable for completion or even if all the plans can be accomplished.
The NJAA will be announcing the 6th anniversary event- in April - very soon. Last years event included 26 players - the largest assembly of jai-alai players in Pinellas County history and had about 80 people in attendance.
Obstacles & Red Tape issues cloud Pinellas Park Jai-Alai Court plans
The NJAA meet with various Pinellas Park officials on January 29th to discuss the possibilities of building an amateur jai-alai court/clubhouse and museum on an undeveloped lot that goes up for auction this Saturday. The meeting was attended by 18 people and included NJAA’s Laca, Paul “Castanos” Kubula and his father Chris, who was the public works director for nearby city Largo for 32 years and Anthony Sutton, engineering. The meeting also included 14 key people from the city, including the zoning coordinators, building development directors, fire department and police departments.
The 80-minute meeting covered every possible scenario – court plans, the hours of operation, the danger of jai-alai playing, the amount of parking needed, insurance, noise levels, security, etc. Unfortunately, the plans fall under a “conditional” basis, meaning a full vote before the city council (a la St. Petersburg) would be required. Getting passed is not as much of a concern as the other items that were brought to our attention:
· The undeveloped property (rare for Pinellas county) would need to be cleared. This will subject one to cutting down 100 year old trees, worries of turtles and eagles nests, etc.
· The city informed us the road would need to be paved on the property next to the one up for auction (which is also for sale). That lot, also undeveloped would get a free driveway or road of over 110 feet.
· That undeveloped property next to the one eyed by the NJAA is now zoned residential – for four two-level houses, and has been for 5 years now. This is despite the Pinellas Country Records saying it is zoned “heavy commercial”. The owner of that property would fight hard for any kind of business like a jai-alai court going in next doors. Plus, the court would be the only commercial application on that side of the street – there are several houses on that side of the road. Even though the property is zoned “heavy commercial” does not mean the city council will approve you. Other homeowners on the street could argue also.
· A retention pond would have to be built on the property. The pond would have to have a drain off to somewhere. The most obvious area would be the ditch area that runs alongside the Atlantic Coastline Railroad, which is directly behind the property. Getting a company that has been around since 1830 and has all the rights in the world to allow that may not be an easy task. Other drain options would be extremely expensive.
· A driveway and lot would have to be able to hold a 41-ton fire truck to come in and be able to turn around, adding substantial more costs .
A lot of costly risks involved, with no guarantees. Unless the property goes for an unbelievable deal, this site may not be the ideal situation. A lot of effort has gone into this, including a 1/100 to scale model that was brought to the presentation. Anthony, our star player, has been helping out on all the drawings and should be commended. It was also great that the City of Pinellas Park brought 14 key members of their staff to handle every possible question the NJAA brought up and also voiced the rules required upfront in one meeting. Also thanks to Paul K and his father, who has lots of experience in these matters.
The NJAA will be at the auction Saturday, but the price will have to be right to move forward.
NJAA to meet with City of Pinellas Park for zoning approval
The NJAA will be meeting with the City of Pinellas Park, Florida on January 29th at 3pm for a predevelopment meeting on the potential of building a new jai-alai court. The property will go up for auction on February 15th and NJAA officials want to make sure the property, an undeveloped area on 86th Ave just west of 66th St. will meet all zoning requirements. The area is zoned heavy commercial and should not be a problem, but the court will be an open air one with a tent-like cover and full netting all around.
According to Section 18-1523.3 of the Pinellas Park Land Development Code, such a facility would be classified as “conditional use” under section B-28 “Recreation establishment, such as bowling alley, golf practice range, golf course or other similar places of amusement or entertainment”. Representing the NJAA will be Jeff “Laca” Conway (owner and CEO), Paul Kubula (operations manager) and Anthony Sutton (engineering). Several zoning and building officials from the city will be in attendance.
Once primary clearance to build a court on the property is obtained, the NJAA will be bidding strongly on the undeveloped property, an odd triangle shaped property measuring 377.53’ x 262.75’ x 268.94’. This comes out to .81 of an acre, plenty of room for the designed 120’ x 28’ x 28’ court with a large out of bounds area and a viewing area with pro shop, clubhouse, and jai-alai museum. A retention pond would be required as well as extensive land cleaning, so the price must be right for the property that runs alongside railroad tracks that are rarely used.
The NJAA has not been able to find a similar amount of property available at a good price in the desired location of mid-Pinellas county. Owners of other larger properties have basically disappeared when asked if they are willing to sell a smaller piece of their property. This seems odd given that some of these properties have spent decades undeveloped or years of just sitting there collecting trash.
The court will be designed first-class and feature a DJ sound system, state-of- the-art video and security cameras, a clubhouse, bleachers, seating tables, a kitchen area, full bathroom, lockers, vending machines, a pro shop, gift shop, offices, a massage chair, a movie theater VIP seating area, a jai-alai pinball machine and a full jai-alai museum. A ping pong table, corn hole would be included allowing for some great tournament not only in jai-alai, but ping pong, corn hole, and jai-alai pinball. The court would be an open air version with misting systems, screened enclosed with a tent covering the entire area to block out the rain and hot sunshine.
Our New Website Link: tampabayjaialai.com.
Our Last few Performances Tue 02/18, Sun 02/23, Tue 02/25, Sat 03/01, Sun 03/02, Tue 03/04.
Next Performance TBA.
Photo by South Florida Business Journal
Dania Jai-Alai hiring hundreds as casino nears completion
South Florida Business Journal
After being acquired by a group of Argentine
businessmen in May, Dania Jai-Alai is about to become South Florida's eighth pari-mutuel to get slot ...
Laca selling 13 backcourt cesta’s in various conditions
Laca is putting 13 jai-alai cesta’s up for immediate sale. They are from his own personal collection and
they are all in good condition, several of them recently repaired by Tampa’s Javier.
No, Laca is not retiring, but going to make the switch to the fiberglass baskets that he has been using since late September.
He has always maintained a large number of baskets since 1998 (since the closing of Tampa jai-alai) to last many years –
just in case of a worst case scenario. Cash only. No payment terms, been stiffed on that in the past.
The baskets are priced right to move. All sales are sold as it, with no returns.
They are available to view at courtside Puryear park or at his office in Largo.
Basket - Description - Price
A Newly repaired basket including glove. Excellent condition. $145.
B Newly repaired basket of Chasio II. Good condition. $90.
C Slightly worn basket of Chauderon. Narrow basket. $30.
D Newly repaired basket. Very good condition. $100.
E Bad condition only in pocket area. Glove, frame OK. $25.
F Santiso basket in fair to poor condition. $35.
G * SOLD *.
H Oliarbide basket in excellent condition. Very wide. $145.
I Good condition basket with nice new glove. $65.
J Excellent condition basket. Nice study frame. $135
K Newly repaired basket but with cracked frame. Handyman special at $50.
L Excellent basket from Olarbide. Glove slightly worn. $140
M Excellent condition from Olarbide. Wide basket. $135
We Last Broadcasted Live 04/20
(Game 6 Pro/ExPro Singles).
Click Here for Live broadcast of National-Jai-Alai by Ustream (or previous recordings)
Click to view all previous recordings on YOUTUBE
When at YOUTUBE.com just search for 'magicomp1' and you will see all the videos commercial free.
“Laca” one of first to sponsor pro jai-alai with banner on wall.
One of Laca’s products, ScaleBlaster was featured on the actual Orlando Jai-alai court.
There was also a ½ page ad in the program.
JAIALAI PARTIDO PONG V1.1
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NOW AVAILABLE (Updated 02/05/12)
Also available on CNet's download.com
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