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City Rallies Casino Supporters

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)   Pep rallies, cheering, team members dressed in white shirts and a positive attitude to get across the goal line.  All the football metaphors came out Monday afternoon as Mayor Ron Corbett and city council members outlined the plan for Thursdays visit by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Corbett says just about one year ago the people of Cedar Rapids showed their support by approving a referendum to bring a casino to town. But now, as commissioners come to visit the proposed site for Cedar Crossing, hes asking people to step up one more time to show their support.

The Racing and Gaming Commission plans to board a bus Thursday morning to view the location at First Avenue and 1st Street S.W, tour flood ravaged areas and then hold a meeting at the Double Tree.  Their visit comes just two weeks before the final vote on whether to grant a casino license to the project.

City council member Justin Shields says hes waited 12 years to get this close to the goal line and he doesnt want to see anyone fumble now.  Shields is asking supporters to dress to impress, have on a white shirt .. that signifies the good guys  .   He says he hopes thousands of people turn out for the 10:00  AM meeting at the hotel and hes confident they will, I look to a huge, huge crowd coming, I can feel them coming .

Casino developer says the last three years have been something of an emotional roller coaster but right now hes feeling optimistic.  He says while getting people behind the casino project may seem like the ultimate pep rally, it really does matter to the racing and gaming commission, One of the five or six most important things is community support, so having a big turnout with our supporters to show the enthusiasm for this project would be very meaningful.

As we reported last week, the original plan called for people in white shirts to line First Avenue across the bridge and through the downtown, but the forecast calls for both rain and wind, so right now city leaders are just asking supporters to come to the Double Tree for the morning meeting.  They say free parking will be available in both nearby ramps and on the street.

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