This weekend the 20th straight “Citrus Invitational” will be played in Orlando Fl.This is the last Tournament left in the United States and always provides intensified excitement to the audiences.It will have a packed house as it attracts fans from just near & far to see the best in the game display their skills.
As great as this Tournament is,it is not enough to ensure that the game will continue on.The expenses of putting on the game exceeds the profits (bottom line) and for any business to exist it must be viable and increase it’s business year in and year out. Unfortunately jai-alai is doing the exact opposite,losing fans and the handle has been decreasing for years.As fans die off new ones are not coming in. The reasons for this vary,and are many.Increasing costs,the lottery,casinos,aging frontons,lack of amateur schools etc are just a few of the reasons.
Due to these reasons it’s very possible 2 or even 3 more frontons will close in the near future. I notice some frontons are spending next to nothing promoting the game,so I have to think they will go to the state and cry poor mouth and claim no business in an attempt to have the forty performamces outlawed.Hopefully these tactics will backfire and just cost them even more money.
Let’s get back to some more positive talk,I just intend to enjoy the game as long as it is around ,whatever time that is,hopefully a long long time for at least some of the frontons. last year’s winners of the ” Citrus Doubles” Championship combined with the “World Circuit of Jai-Alai” were Miami’s Rekalde & lopez,who won by the slimest of marjins 1 point,over Goikoetxea & Irastorza 87 to 86.I would think Goiko & Irastorza would be the favorites this year.
This year there will be no players from Spain which retracts from the sport but I’m sure it was a matter of finances and a slim chance of not getting any prize money.Who can blame them for that.not me. Who do we like,to me Goikotxea is still the best player in the world so I have to lean toward him and Irastorza .Goiko is at his best when the money is up,he is the Jerry Bailey of horse racing. To the many many fans that won’t be able to attend I will if I can get the video once again put it online for the fans all over the world to see.