What started out with six companies competing for one contract has now been whittled down to two: Urban One’s proposal on the Southside of Richmond near the Philip Morris cigarette manufacturing complex along with the Cordish Companies’ proposal in the Scott’s Addition district of the city.
Sharpton took the opportunity to enlighten his radio show listeners about the Cordish family’s relationships and their company ties to Republican causes.
Reed Cordish, the son of millionaire business owner David Cordish, served as a senior aide to former President Donald Trump. His wife, Maggie Cordish, served as White House advisor.
“It would seem ironic to me if they were able to benefit in a city with a large percentage of Democrats and blacks,” Sharpton said to Liggins. “We’re seeing a lot of companies move out of doing business with those entities that are supporting voter suppression and things that are antithetical to the interests of the community.”
NOTE: The Cordish family has donated to both the Democratic and Republican parties in the past.
A little more than a year ago, the Virginia general assembly started the process of legalizing gambling in the Commonwealth and Urban One saw an opportunity for African Americans to get involved as they have in other states. Urban One, which is already invested in Maryland with MGM National Harbor, looks to bring nearly 5,000 jobs to the southside of Richmond, which is about 70% minority and doesn’t have the amenities like restaurants and entertainment that other parts of the city do.
“Richmond doesn’t get a lot of top-notch entertainment on a consistent, consistent basis,” Liggins said. “The branded resort will be able to bring that with a 250-room state-of-the-art resort hotel with spas and other amenities. This is going to be a tourism magnet for the entire country. It’s going to be a world-class resort.”
The state of Virginia approved plans to open five casinos in majority-Black cities. Urban One is the only Black-owned entity that expressed interest in casino development.
Go to Page 2 for Part 2 of Rev. Al Sharpton’s interview with Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins.