Sports and gambling moved another step closer in their growing partnership this week when a minor league affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks sold the naming rights to their stadium to a company that owns a casino in the town.
The South Bend Silver Hawks have announced that they have sold the naming rights to their stadium to the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. The tribe owns the Four Winds Casino just outside of South Bend, in New Buffalo, Michigan.
The owner of the team was looking for private funding to avoid having to ask taxpayers for money to upgrade the stadium. Silver Hawks owner Andrew Berlin believes the deal with the tribe will prevent any taxpayer money from being used for stadium repairs for at least ten years.
“It’s just like in any other business, the naming rights or advertising deals go to the highest bidder,” said analyst Harvey Freenstein. “And when it comes to bidding, not many companies or groups can match what Indian tribes who own casinos can offer.