Sep 19, 2022 - Sports

Jai alai's Hail Mary: ESPN to air series on Miami-based league

A jai alai player with a wicker cesta.
A jai alai player in Miami back in 2001. Photo: David LeFranc/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Professional jai-alai teams once played at more than a dozen venues across the U.S. in the fast-moving sport's heyday, back in the 1970s and '80s.

  • Now they play at just one fronton (court): Miami's Magic City Casino. But a fresh deal with ESPN could bring the sport into 200 million homes.

What's happening: ESPN will follow four teams during the second season of a series called "Battle Court," which will air on ESPN3 on Fridays starting this week.

Between the lines: The coming year will determine whether online betting brings new life and profitability to the sport.

  • Otherwise, it could go extinct in the states, Magic City's chief operating officer Scott Savin told gambling news site US Bets.
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