Calder Casino To Open Florida’s Newest Sports Venue in Miami Gardens on May 22

The grand opening of Calder Jai-Alai will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 22 with a ribbon-cutting at 4 p.m. followed by a meet-and-greet and autograph signing with select players.

Calder Casino has announced its plans for the grand opening of Calder Jai-Alai, and introduction of Florida’s newest professional sports team. The grand opening of Calder Jai-Alai will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 22 with a ribbon-cutting at 4 p.m. followed by a meet-and-greet and autograph signing with select players. The festivities will continue throughout the evening with merchandise giveaways and other fun activities.

The first performance of 8 games will begin at 6 p.m.

 

The inaugural season of Florida’s newest professional sports team will run daily Wednesday through Sunday at 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. from May 22 through June 30, with no performances on Mondays or Tuesdays. The second season is scheduled for August and September, 2019.

“Jai-Alai has deep roots in South Florida,” said Maureen Adams, President and General Manager of Calder Casino. “We are excited to offer a fresh, modern approach to the sport.”

Jai-Alai traces its origins to the Basque region of Spain’s Pyrenees mountains, where a handball version of the sport was played in open-air courtyards on Sundays and holidays at local churches. The game of Jai-Alai (Merry Festival, in Basque) eventually made its way to the United States in the early 20th century, with a rich history in the state of Florida, which at one time had over 11 Jai-Alai frontons, orcourts.

In contrast to the rosters of other Jai-Alai teams which are filled with players from Spain, Mexico, and other international representation, the players for Calder Jai-Alai are primarily south-Floridian local talent who have grown up around the sport since its zenith in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s.

Among the 35 players on its roster, Calder Jai-Alai is unique in that it boasts the first Jai-Alai female division in the United States. Players Becky Smith and Deborah Mitchell had the distinction of breaking into what has historically been a male-dominated sport.

 

“We’ve assembled a dynamic roster of both male and female players,” said Adams. “Having local athletes will give fans a different kind of Jai-Alai experience than what is currently out there.”

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy: Facebook

The 111-foot court is also unique, with its smaller size allowing for more competitive play against a front wall which has been pressure tested to 10,000 psi, making it one of the strongest courts in the world.

Calder Casino, located on South Florida’s Miami-Dade/Broward county line, offers gaming action with nearly 1,100 slot machines. Calder is a wholly-owned property of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN).

Information about Calder Casino can be found at www.caldercasino.com

 

 

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