Aztar boosts stadium bid

Dec 31, 2002 5:03 AM

When Aztar Corporation (AZR) was looking for land to berth its newly-licensed riverboat, the company made a deal with the City of Evansville, Indiana, to lease four and one-half acres of land on the Ohio River waterfront for its boarding pavilion and docking facilities for Casino Aztar.

Now the company is returning the favor, and then some.

Announced last week was an agreement whereby Aztar will facilitate funding of $10 million of the cost of constructing a 6,000-seat baseball stadium and will provide part of the needed land by leasing for $1 a year about three and one-half acres of land that the company owns.

The new stadium will be needed if the city is successful in attracting an affiliated Single-A minor-league team to Evansville.

Aztar will benefit from the agreement not only with the good will being generated but also by developing a project near the site of the proposed stadium that will contain a restaurant, entertainment venue, a conference center and other tourism-related facilities that will bring additional customers to the area.

"Aztar and the City of Evansville already have a strong partnership," said riverboat president and general manager Jim Brown. "But, this takes it to a new level. This agreement will lead to the development of substantial new assets that will transform downtown Evansville into an incredibly people-friendly, busy and exciting entertainment venue."

Among its many gaming properties, Aztar operates the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and the Tropicana Casino/Hotel in Atlantic City.