Jai Alai to Return to Connecticut - NBC Connecticut

Jai Alai to Return to Connecticut



    Jai Alai to Return to Connecticut
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    3 Aug 1992: A competitorin action during a match between Spain and Mexico demonstrating the game of Pelota at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. \ Mandatory Credit: Bob Martin/Allsport

    Remember the days of Jai alai in Connecticut? The game is making a bit of a comeback in one town.

    Matt DiDomizio, 46, of Cromwell, is set to open an amateur jai alai fronton in Berlin Saturday, according to the Hartford Courant.

     DiDomizio says he had a short professional jai alai career when the game flourished in Connecticut in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
    Connecticut was home to professional courts, called frontons, in Hartford, Milford and Bridgeport, but all have since closed.
    That’s where DiDomizio comes in. He decided to create his own space to play the game after years of playing makeshift games behind buildings, the paper reported.
    He mortgaged his home and maxed out his credit cards to come up with $150,000 to create a new amateur fronton in a warehouse on Four Rod Road in Berlin, according to the Courant. DiDomizio told the paper it will be one of the only places in the country to play jai alai.
    “This game is fun. I think people will come if I build this thing,” DiDomizio told the paper.
    In fact, he says he’s already been contacted from people throughout New England who have heard about his project on the internet.
    DiDomizio stresses the facility will be for amateur jai alai, there won’t be any gambling as there was in the game’s professional days in Connecticut.
    He hopes to offer lessons to those interested in learning jai alai, and will rent out the fronton to more advanced players.