Miami, Fla. – Aug. 16, 2021 – The greatest jai-alai players in the U.S. will face off Aug. 27-29 at the second annual United States National Jai-Alai Championship at Magic City Jai-Alai. This action-packed, three-day tournament takes place on Magic City Jai-Alai’s state-of-the-art glass-walled court with more than $25,000 in prize money at stake.
Friends and families of the athletes will be in the stands to cheer them on Friday and Saturday (Aug. 27 and 28.) The fronton will be open to the general public for the finals on Sunday, Aug. 29. Jai-Alai Channel on YouTube will livestream the multi-day tournament. Florida is the only state in the U.S. in which professional jai-alai is still played.
“This tournament is a huge deal in the jai-alai world. To have so many skilled players, including some of the top players in the world, battling under one roof is exceptional,” said Scott Savin, Chief Operating Officer at Magic City Casino, home to Magic City Jai-Alai. “The sport of jai-alai is alive and thriving, and we are proud to be at the center of this high-stakes championship that showcases the sport’s intensity and the athletes’ passion for the game.”
The fully-booked tournament has drawn 100 athletes from across the U.S., including some of the brightest talents in the sport. Inaugural year champions Jairo Baroja in the Singles category and Inigo Gorostola and Inaki Goitiandia in the Doubles category will be returning to the championship to defend their titles. All three players play professionally at Dania Jai-Alai.
Other jai-alai heavyweights include Erik Mendizabal of Dania Jai-Alai and Michael Carballo of Magic City Jai-Alai, who was runner-up in the Singles division of the tournament last year. Tanard Davis, who played football for the University of Miami and has a Super Bowl ring (Super Bowl XLI) from his time with the Indianapolis Colts, and fellow Hurricane Darryl Roque, who played baseball for UM and went on to play baseball for the Montreal Expos and Baltimore Orioles are competing in the championship.
The tournament will kick off on Friday, Aug. 27 with amateur participants in the Masters Division. Saturday, Aug. 28 and Sunday, Aug. 29 will be dedicated to the Professionals Division. The tournament is sponsored by BetRivers online gaming. The BetRivers Sportsbook & Casino service is operated by Rush Street Interactive an affiliate of Rush Street Gaming, a U.S.-based casino group that owns and operates several leading land-based casinos in the northeast and midwestern portions of the country.