The Real Deal Miami

Dania Jai-Alai building sold for $65.5 million

May 23, 2013 10:00AM

Dania Jai-Alai

A group of Argentine casino operators and local businessmen purchased the Dania Jai-Alai fronton, the court where the fast-paced ball game is played, for $65.5 million on Wednesday, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Jai alai was once among South Florida’s most popular attractions, but spectators for the Basque sport are now all but non-existent. The buyers plan to convert the 60-year-old facility into a race track and casino, the Sentinel reported, citing Dania Beach Mayor Walter Duke.

“We’re very optimistic,” Duke was quoted as saying. “Anything is better than what’s there now.”

The Argentine businessmen, who own 75 percent of the facility, operate 27 casinos in Argentina under the name “Casino Club,” the newspaper said, citing state filings. Louis Birdman, Barton Seidler and Steven Levy lead a group of local investors holding the remaining 25 percent share. [Sun-Sentinel]Emily Schmall