BOSTON—December 18, 2012–In an historic national partnership between a resort casino venue and a city’s leading non-profit entertainment and cultural arts institution, Suffolk Downs/Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) and the Citi Performing Arts Center today announced an agreement giving the Citi Center a key role in collaborating on the entertainment and cultural activities at a future resort casino if Suffolk Downs is successful in earning a license to develop a world-class destination.
The agreement calls for Citi Center staff, veterans of Boston’s rich arts and cultural history, to work with Suffolk Downs and Caesars in cross promotion, operations, cooperative booking of acts and shows to help both organizations grow, provide broader entertainment choices, and expand arts education/community programs for local youth and families.
The Massachusetts legislation authorizing resort casino licenses includes language requiring all operators to reach agreements with “not-for-profit or municipally-owned performance venues” in the potential licensee’s region. No other state that allows gaming has a similar provision in its law and today’s announcement may be a first among all the proposed resort sites now being considered in the state.
“Three iconic institutions and brands are coming together to promote economic development for the City of Boston by boosting our arts, cultural and entertainment sector,” said Josiah Spaulding, the President & CEO of the Citi Performing Arts Center. “Our institution has played a valuable role in the community for decades and we are eager to work with Caesars Entertainment on multiple levels to the benefit of our community,” he added.
The Citi Performing Arts Center, which includes the Wang, Shubert and Emerson Colonial theaters, has a longstanding commitment to community involvement and youth programs and Spaulding said the partnership will help broaden their reach and impact to local youth, families, and neighborhoods.
With over 40 million customers, Caesars’ Total Rewards® program is the leading loyalty program in the gaming industry. This partnership gives Citi Center access to this vast resource of consumers while providing Suffolk Downs and Caesars with access to local first-class performing arts and entertainment experiences in the Theatre District to offer their Total Rewards® members.
“As a proud local business for over 77 years, our goal is to collaborate wherever possible to extend the economic benefits of our proposed development to others in our community. Our specific proposal allows for our patrons to enjoy the vast selection of entertainment, attractions and restaurants that the Boston area has to offer outside of our development, enhancing the region’s existing tourism industry,” said Chip Tuttle, COO of Suffolk Downs.
“Caesars is proud to be a part of this innovative and unique partnership with one of the nation’s finest nonprofit performing arts institutions. We are committed to providing world-class entertainment to our loyal customers and the Citi Center certainly embodies this ideal,” said John Payne, President of Enterprise Shared Services at Caesars.
The Suffolk Downs/Caesars proposal would generate 2,500 construction and more than 4,000 resort jobs for local residents. The three theaters managed by the Citi Center make up the largest employer of theatrical labor in the state and the agreement is likely to create additional jobs in that sector.
In addition to this nonprofit arts partnership, the Suffolk Downs resort casino plans would:
- Generate $200 million annually in new state tax revenue.
- Commit $40 million to improve local roads and intersections as part of an aggressive transportation demand management program that relies on public transportation and other alternatives.
- Spend $150 million annually for goods and services among local and regional businesses.
- Partner with Boston area hotels, restaurants, and tourism organizations to attract visitors and further boost the local economy.
In addition to its partnership with Citi Center, Suffolk Downs plans to enter into formal discussions with other not-for-profit or publicly owned performance venues in greater Boston to create additional partnerships.
About Citi Performing Arts Center:
Citi Performing Arts Center [formerly The Wang Center for the Performing Arts] is a nonprofit innovator and steward of iconic venues, providing arts, entertainment, cultural, and educational experiences to the greater community. Citi Performing Arts Center is one of the nation’s foremost nonprofit performing arts institutions. As guardian of historic venues—the Wang, Shubert, and Emerson Colonial theatres—Citi Performing Arts Center honors all aspects of the arts. Through numerous community outreach educational efforts, collaborations, and partnerships, Citi Performing Arts Center strives to educate and inspire greater appreciation for creativity as an essential component to the fabric of our society. As a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization located in Boston’s historical Theater District, Citi Performing Arts Center offers a diverse mix of educational workshops and community activities through its education department; collaborates with artists and local performing arts organizations, and acts as a champion for the arts in the Greater Boston community. For further information, please go to www.citicenter.org.