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MGM Proposes $800M Casino Project for Springfield

Casino mega-corporation MGM Resorts International announced an $800 million proposal to develop a 10-acre hotel and gambling center in downtown Springfield. The announcement is the second company to propose a gambling facility for the Western Massachusetts city this week. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

MGM’s proposal would cost $800 million dollars and focus on developing Springfield’s downtown with a 25-floor, 250 room hotel, retail stores, restaurants, and an 89,000 square foot gambling space.

President MGM Springfield and MGM Resorts Chief Marketing Officer, Bill Hormbuckle, told the crowd of stakeholders, elected officials, and others at the MassMutual Center press conference, that the development work is targeted towards reviving Springfield’s downtown following last year’s June tornado.

MGM also announced they have submitted a $400,000 application fee to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. That money will be used by the City of Springfield and the Commonwealth to fund the negotiation and vetting processes.

Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts James Murren, said that by submitting the application money early, the company is showing its commitment to helping Springfield.

MGM had also previously considered a project in Brimfield, but after the conference, Murren said that MGM’s decision is to be centrally located in the Springfield’s downtown, with a key goal of transforming the area just off Insterstate-91.

The proposal also includes preserving local architecture, improving public transportation, new parking facilities, and brand new family attractions, such as a bowling alley and cinema complex.  The project also promises to produce thousands of permanent jobs, indirect jobs, and at least 2,000 temporary construction jobs.

President of the Springfield City Council James Ferrera said that as the city continues to hear from casino developers, including yesterday’s presentation from Ameristar, Springfield will welcome all proposals.

Earlier this year, Hard Rock International dropped a project in Holyoke. Currently Mohegan Sun is competing for a spot in Palmer.MGM’s announcement followed Tuesday’s proposal by Ameristar to build a $500 million dollar entertainment hub in Springfield.  Only one license is available from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in Western Massachusetts.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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