04/28/2008 11:00PM

Bill would reopen old Evangeline

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Legislation has been introduced in the Louisiana state senate to bring racing back to the old Evangeline Downs in Carencro, La.

The bill would reintroduce racing to Lafayette Parish without a vote by its residents. In 1997, Lafayette voters outlawed video poker, which prompted the construction of the new racing and gaming facility in nearby Opelousas, in neighboring St. Landry Parish.

Opposition to the new bill is stiff and includes Opelousas Mayor Donald Cravins Sr.

"This is not the time to put a second track in direct competition with a facility that has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in this community," said Cravins.