TDF, NOW NYC, Chelsea Groups Unite Against Times Square Theater District Casi-NO!

June 18, 2024

The No Times Square Casino Coalition today announced TDF, National Organization for Women NYC chapter (NOW NYC), and the Council of Chelsea Block Associations (CCBA) as the newest members of the growing coalition opposing a casino in the Theater District.

“… overwhelming 71% of registered voters … are against opening a casino …”

The announcement follows a recent poll showing that an overwhelming 71% of registered voters who live in and around Times Square are against opening a casino in the area. 

  • TDF (formerly known as Theatre Development Fund) is a nonprofit working to make theatre accessible to all. TDF, whose most well-known program is their TKTS Discount Booth in Duffy Square, sustains live theatre and dance by engaging and cultivating a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance – whether that barrier is financial, physical or developmental.
  • NOW NYC is a grassroots arm of the women’s movement, dedicated to its multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women’s rights, and is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States.
  • CCBA is comprised of sixteen Block Associations covering forty-six blocks and four Tenant Associations in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. The Block Associations work every day to improve the quality of life for those who live, work in and visit Chelsea.

“TDF is the only arts service organization in the country whose membership is the audience, and on behalf of the audience, we have grave concerns about the impact of this new development,” said TDF Executive Director Deeksha Gaur. “Our industry is still recovering from the pandemic, and as we work to build a more robust, inclusive audience of the future, we feel that further congestion and perceptions of safety will hinder access to the theatres, making it more difficult for shows to attract an audience and detracting from many of the local businesses that owe their livelihood to New York’s theatre district.”

“At NOW NYC, my focus is protecting vulnerable people from harm and exploitation,” said Sonia Ossorio,President of NOW NYC. “I know a casino on top of Times Square and in close proximity to the Port Authority Bus Terminal would be a magnet for human trafficking and the sex trade. I am proud to join the people who live in this community, know it best, and share that same concern.”

“… a casino in … Times Square makes no sense.”

New York’s unique attractions define our cultural identity and are the foundations of our economic vitality,” said Sally Greenspan, President of The Council of Chelsea Block Associations. “New Yorkers and people from across the country and the world come to enjoy Times Square; our Broadway shows, the lights, the music, the restaurants, the streetscape. What is the rationale to introduce an industry that could cannibalize the very essence of Times Square? Placing a casino in a unique, thriving commercial district like Times Square makes no sense.”

The coalition is comprised of residents, businesses, community organizations and stakeholders from the Times Square community who are committed to its long-term future and concerned about the significant negative impacts a casino would bring.

No Times Square Casino Coalition members include:

  • 54 Below
  • American Bus Association
  • Audience Rewards
  • Bar Centrale
  • Broadway Cares-Equity Fights Aids
  • Chekpeds
  • Council of Chelsea Block Associations
  • Encore Community Services
  • Hell’s Kitchen Block Alliance
  • Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association
  • Joe Allen
  • Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association
  • National Organization for Women NYC (NOW NYC)
  • Orso
  • Project FIND
  • Sardi’s
  • TDF
  • Times Square Church
  • The Ali Forney Center
  • The Broadway League
  • The Shubert Organization
  • The Voice of Student Youth & Travel
  • The West 47th/48th Street Block Association
  • Westside Neighborhood Alliance

Editor’s note: When they run out of locations downtown and mid-town they may start looking uptown.

Photo credit: Wiki.

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