Quapaw Nation officially broke ground on the Saracen Casino Resort Monday morning with several political and non-political VIP’s in attendance.

One of the better known non-political VIP’s was former Arkansas Razorback football player, Oklahoma Sooners and Dallas Cowboys head football coach Barry Switzer. He is one of just three coaches who have won both an NCAA football national title, along with the Super Bowl.

Switzer, a native of Crossett, noted that he and Quapaw Nation Chief John Berrey have been good friends for many years.

“We are both University of Arkansas graduates,” Switzer said. “I finished way ahead of him, but he is an Arkansas graduate, and he takes great pride in the State of Arkansas. When he built Downstream Casino he asked me to be a part of it, and I have remained a part of it as a spokesman. I have spent a lot of time with John. He is a great man, and he wants nothing but the best for Jefferson County, Arkansas, and Quapaw Nation.”

Berrey has made a lot of promises for the intentions that Quapaw Nation has for the Pine Bluff area, and Switzer said that he is a man of his word.

“If you have never been to Downstream Casino, you should go see it,” Switzer said.

“It is probably the nicest casino in the State of Oklahoma, and there are a lot of casinos there. He has done a great job with the tribe. He helps to provide educational benefits and healthcare. Anyone who graduates from Quapaw Nation has the opportunity for tuition and educational benefits so they will have the chance to be successful. If they are willing to help prepare themselves for life, he will do all he can to help them succeed.”

As a native of Southeast Arkansas, Switzer said he was proud to see Quapaw Nation select Pine Bluff as the location for their next casino resort.

“I knew that it would have to be in a metropolitan area, and between Pine Bluff and Memphis would be an excellent area,” Switzer said. “They happened to bring it to Pine Bluff and Jefferson County because of the opportunity zone and the things they qualified for. It is going to be great. Once it is built people will come here to see the acts and the shows. There will be great restaurants, and just a great experience with the hotel and venues that they will have. Plus the great games with slot machines, blackjack, dice, or whatever you want to play, you will be able to have that opportunity, too.”