Brockton used to be known for its leading the country in shoe manufacturing, during the Civil War, and is considered the “City of Champions” due to native boxers Marciano & Hagler. New Bedford has history as well. Originally settled by the Wampanoags, it became settle by Portuguese whalers making it one the best whaling sites in the east. Yet, in the last few decades, both have been best known for lagging economies, blight, and lost identities.
Sean Murphy of the Boston Globe wrote about the vision of each city to have the last answer to all their problems – the southeast Mass Region C Casino license.
Mr. Murphy writes “The mayors and city councils of both cities are unanimous in their support for the surge of private investment casinos would bring. And leaders in both cities are in step with voters: Brockton and New Bedford handed a resounding “no” to the statewide referendum last November that would have repealed the 2011 law that allows casinos.”
Ahh, but only one brass ring for two high unemployment areas.
Where in Brockton? Raynham Park or the Brockton Fairgrounds. See the picture above of the artist’s rendition:
In New Bedford, a casino will attract people not only to the hundreds of slot machines and roulette tables, they say, but also to the restaurants and other businesses along the waterfront of one of the country’s most storied harbors. See the rendition below:
Sean points out one significant difference between Brockton and New Bedford is the readiness of the respective sites. Construction of a casino on the Brockton Fairgrounds could start anytime, without delay or significant additional costs to the developer. The waterfront site in New Bedford where the casino would be built requires an environmental cleanup that KG Urban says could cost as much as $50 million. It pledges to cover that cost.
Although the New Bedford site will take longer to prepare, and the seemingly prejudice the MGA has for anything connected to CT tribal casinos, the resort and surrounding area would change the tourism connection for ever. New Bedford has my vote.