In my favorite Simpsons episode, Homer agrees to take care of a beaver that built a dam that blocked water to an Indian tribe. The tribe cannot take action against said beaver due to previously making it one of their Gods (“In retrospect, it was a bad idea”). In exchange for Homer restoring the water, he makes the tribe promise to build a casino. After negotiating down to six deck blackjack, the Indian Chief looks at Homer. Homer asks “Will you comp my breakfast?” The Chief complies as Homer announces, “My Brother.”
And this should be the reaction to the Tohono O’odham wanting to build a casino in the Westgate area. My Brother. Not only will it provide construction jobs, but the casino will provide jobs and revenue. And the nearby Tanger outlets, Cabela’s, and Westgate plaza shops gives you something to do if you don’t want to sit at the casino all day. One of the problems is that most casinos are isolated. There is nothing to do in the vicinity. The location at Westgate gives family and friends a destination before going to the casino or activities while some gamble.
Federal law signed in 1986 gave Indian tribes this right. Now the Tohono O’odham wants to exercise this right, and it is being blocked by outside entities. For Coyote fans who have seen outside interference the last three years (looking at you GWI and Canadian media) we have found a soulmate. Four reasons to support the tribe in this matter.
- They will not ask for nor receive funds from the City of Glendale. Unlike Camelback Ranch, this private organization will be responsible for finding and securing their funding sources.
- Mike Nealy and the sales department should talk the tribe into buying a couple of suites for the seasons and advertising on the dasher board. That is more money to the Coyotes.
- Who comes to see Coyote games in the winter? Canadian fans. And there is nothing better than getting every loonie and twonie you can out of their pockets and keeping Canadian here in Glendale.
- There are numerous Indian fans who attend games. Look at the nameplate on most of the Toyota Club seats. They may be from other tribes, but they come to the games. Why not expand the experience to others? There are two women who drive to every Coyote game and sit in the 3rd row in section 120. They drive from Holbrooke. So I don’t want to hear anything about an hour drive from the far West Valley.
To those who do not want the casino, I understand. But you do not have to go to the casino, it will not cost you one penny. The argument over it bringing in unsavory elements has been disproven. Empty building and vacant condos do more to detract from a neighborhood than a working business. The state of Arizona and causes such as childhood vaccinations are funded by the state receiving lottery money and cigarette taxes. That ship has sailed. It is time to embrace the Tohono O’odham nation as a business partner.