Report: The Cordish Cos. was sued for racial discrimination

The Cordish Cos., the Baltimore-based company partnering with the city of Las Vegas on a soccer stadium proposal, was the subject of racial discrimination lawsuits and complaints in entertainment districts in three states, according to a New York Daily News report posted early Monday.

The lawsuits and complaints focused on racial bias claims in entertainment districts in Louisville, Ky; Kansas City, Mo., and St. Louis, according to the Daily News story. The newspaper cited lawsuits and complaints that alleged that restrictive dress codes and other methods were used by Cordish to limit access to black visitors to the entertainment areas. The dress code banned long shirts and baggy pants.

In Las Vegas, under a city-Cordish exclusive negotiating agreement, Cordish initially proposed a $390 million arena for downtown Symphony Park. But Cordish then switched gears and floated a $200 million soccer plan this year in a partnership with Findlay Sports & Entertainment, which is working with Cordish on recruiting a Major League Soccer expansion team to Las Vegas. The overall stadium and MLS team proposal is for at least $300 million.

The Cordish-Findlay team wants public dollars to pay for more than half the stadium costs, but the financing plan is not final. The city has postponed two public meetings on the soccer stadium funding plan this month.

The City Council originally planned to address the soccer stadium deal at a meeting on Wednesday, but the topic has been removed from the agenda. In May, the council gave Cordish-Findlay a Sept. 1 deadline to provide a soccer stadium finance plan. Major League Soccer is expanding to 24 teams, and there is one expansion team slot left. Las Vegas is competing against Austin, Texas; Minneapolis; Sacramento; San Antonio and San Diego.

PROJECTS ACROSS THE U.S.

Cordish has built dozens of projects across the country. In the three cited discrimination allegation cases, the entertainment districts are 4th Street Live in Louisville; the Ballpark Village in St. Louis and and the Kansas City Power & Light District.

In Louisville, The Courier-Journal reported in June that five black men sued Cordish’s 4th Street Live for allegedly not allowing them to enter because of their race but permitted white people to go into 4th Street Live. The lawsuit was filed May 30. The newspaper reported that it was the first public discrimination claim against 4th Street Live after staffers underwent diversity training in response to previous allegations of racial bias.

Chris Hartman, director of the Louisville-based Fairness Campaign, a LGBT equality organization, which worked with Cordish on sensitivity training at 4th Street Live, told the Review-Journal on Monday that the downtown complex had a history of racial complaints that focused on people “of color not getting into the complex where as white folks were allowed in. This went on for years and years and years.”

“There were allegations of racial discrimination focusing on dress code. White folks dressed a certain way were allowed in while black folks dressed exactly the same way underwent more severe security scrutiny,” Hartman said.

That led to groups such as the ACLU of Kentucky, Fairness Campaign and other local organizations meeting with Cordish representatives over a series of months in 2013 to address racial issues in the dress code, Hartman said.

“Things were tense and difficult at the beginning, but then there was a willingness to work with the community and resolve the issues,” Hartman said. He noted there a joint press conference about a year ago to announce policy changes.

For example, Cordish agreed to post the dress code policy more prominently on its website and security guards at entrance points no longer had the authority to reject people because of dress code — only managers could do that, Hartman said.

VARIED REACTION

Mayor Carolyn Goodman said she was “totally unaware” of the lawsuits and discrimination complaints against Cordish. After reading the Daily News story, Goodman said, “I have found Cordish most reputable and am surprised by the allegations.”

Councilman Steve Ross offered this comment: “I think the city should absolutely consider this regarding its relationship with Cordish. I, for one, will not tolerate racial discrimination in our city.”

The Cordish Cos. denied the allegations in the lawsuits and complaints and said, according to a statement, that “the idea that the Cordish Companies would ever discriminate is beyond ludicrous.”

In Cordish’s more than 100-year history, “we’ve been subject to a few unfounded and opportunistic accusations, which are a sad reflection of the litigious nature of our society and a fact of life for all companies. For example, there have been hundreds of civil rights lawsuits filed against Las Vegas based gaming companies.

“The fact is no company has shown a stronger commitment and passion for diversity and seeing our urban areas thrive than The Cordish Companies. We have been widely recognized for our commitment to investing, hiring and working in our nation’s cities and have won numerous awards for our commitment to inclusion and diversity, including our most recent honor by the MD Washington Minority Companies Association as the Most Inclusive Company in the State of Maryland.

“We take great pride in our spotless record of meeting and exceeding (minority and women owned) thresholds across billions of dollars of development in dozens of cities,” the statement said.

Justin Findlay, managing partner of Findlay Sports, offered no comment except to suggest contacting Cordish about the lawsuits and complaints.

The Cordish-Findlay soccer proposal is not the only one in Las Vegas. Gaming investor Jason Ader, who owns a New York City money management company, has floated a $350 million proposal to bring an MLS team to Las Vegas and build a soccer stadium.

Ader issued this statement: “The MLS is moving forward with its expansion plans. Las Vegas isn’t the only city under consideration by the league. We have great respect for the Findlay family and are open to including Justin Findlay in our discussions about attractive alternative locations to Symphony Park so that we can successfully bring a professional soccer team to Las Vegas.”

Contact reporter Alan Snel at asnel@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5273. Follow @BicycleManSnel on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like