Magic City’s Second Battle Court Jai-Alai Season Ends In Epic Fashion

Written By Rashid Mohamed on December 9, 2022
Magic City's second Battle Court jai-alai season a success.

On Friday, Nov. 18, America’s leading professional jai-alai league, Magic City Jai-Alai, completed its second Battle Court season in a spectacular finals championship at the Magic City Fronton.

Renegades take title from Cyclones

Legal Florida sports betting was short-lived. A U.S. District Court judge shuttered the industry just weeks after it launched in November 2021. The appeals process is already underway and will continue into 2023.

However, Floridians can still legally wager on horse racing and jai-alai. Although the Magic City Jai-Alai league competes in Florida, residents can’t bet on the contests.

Florida permits jai-alai betting under current pari-mutuel regulations. But to make the game slightly more conducive to a team sport, Magic City slightly altered the structure of the game. As a result, the league doesn’t fall under those guidelines and wagering is prohibited inside state lines.

ESPN3 live-streamed the nine-week season that started with four squads and finished in a best-of-three-match. The Rebote Renegades beat the reigning champs, Cesta Cyclones, in the finals and took home the $45,000 player prize pool. The epic final went down on Magic City’s glass-walled court.

Scott Savin, chief operating officer at Magic City Jai-Alai, congratulated the Renegades for their incredible achievement. He also praised the other squads for competing so “fiercely over the season.” Savin gave a shout-out to all the squad owners too, lauding their infectious energy which “helped propel their teams through the season.”

Each owner chose a charity in outreach efforts

Millions of jai-alai fans were thrilled by the new Battle Court concept when it first rolled out. The competition now offers seasonal squad ownership opportunities for owners that wish to be part of the competition. Owners in season 2 included:

  • Chris Cote: Produced the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” owns the Cesta Cyclones
  • Jammin Johnny: From El Zol 106.7FM, owns the Rebote Renegades
  • K. Marie: Known as “La Gringa Más Latina” from TU 94.9FM, owns the Wall Warriors
  • Michael and Nina Blechman: Owns the Chula Chargers

To comply with Battle Court’s community outreach initiative, each squad owner picked a charity of their choice to drum up awareness and financial support throughout the season. Better than Wonderful Foundation, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment, Safe Haven for Newborns and Young Musicians Unite were among the local charitable organizations that received funding.

Savin said the partnerships are important to the league.

“We are proud to partner with community partners like Safe Haven for Newborns and Young Musicians Unite to raise awareness and support for their important causes. With the Renegades’ win, these causes earned $25,000 donations each.”

Next Battle Court just a few months away

Similar to tennis, Battle Court requires the player or team to win two out of three sets played to six points. The game moves at a breakneck pace, incorporates an element of danger, and demands incredible athleticism from its players.

Fans can look forward to the Battle Court season, which starts in February.

Betting on jai-alai on the rise again

Jai-alai is the world’s fastest sport and traces its roots to the basque region of Spain and France. It took root in Miami during the go-go days of the 1970s and ’80s.

But for the last couple of decades, the game has fallen out of favor with viewers. To bring more pep into the game, Magic City introduced a few innovations. Firstly, they reduced the traditional fronton by nearly 60 feet. Secondly, they replaced the goatskin ball with a pelota (Spanish for ball) that bounces off plexiglass instead of the traditional granite wall.

The aim is to attract a younger audience and online bettors who no longer have the option of wagering onsite. Although Floridians weren’t allowed to bet on Battle Court, overall betting on the sport is rising again. A partnership with Rush Street Gaming made betting on Battle Court available wherever the BetRivers app is accessible.

Photo by AP / Rebecca Blackwell
Rashid Mohamed Avatar
Written by
Rashid Mohamed

Rashid Mohamed is an international journalist with a special interest in sports writing. He is a Poli-Sci graduate of Ohio University and holds an A.A.S in Journalism. He has worked in a number of countries and has extensive experience in the United Nations as well as other regional, national, and international organizations. Rashid lives and writes out of Denver, Colorado.

View all posts by Rashid Mohamed