N.H. Civic Groups: Casinos Book Best Entertainers

May 2, 2013

The executive director of the Capitol Center for the Arts says a New Hampshire casino would outbid her nonprofit and others like it for the top entertainment acts it needs to survive.

Nicolette Clarke told a special House gambling subcommittee Thursday she struggles now to win the three-to-four top acts needed each year to subsidize other shows that make Concord's downtown vibrant. Clarke said when the Capitol Center is busy, nearby restaurants are filled.

The panel heard a similar story from Tim Bechert, regional general manager for the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. Bechert backed an amendment to set a 1,500-seat limit on the performance venue at a New Hampshire casino. But Clarke said that would not protect her center or community centers in Portsmouth, Keene and Lebanon.