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MGM releases status report charting progress of casino

Date: 4/30/2015

SPRINGFIELD – MGM Springfield has released the first of a series of status reports to illustrate the progress on its casino project.

City Solicitor Ed Pikula told Reminder Publications, “This is the first of many reports. It is also designed to coincide with the reports to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Between the state regulations, licensing terms, and Host Community Agreement requirements, this is one of the most heavily regulated projects I have ever seen. We plan to post the reports on the city’s website so that the public can review it themselves. It is a good tool to monitor compliance as to the commitments MGM is obligated to meet under the Host Community Agreement.”

Demolition on the site has not yet begun and Seth Stratton, MGM Springfield vice president and general counsel, said, “Our team has been in overdrive checking all the necessary boxes to start the demolition phase. That has included tenant relocations, engaging in the historical commission discussion and process, and ongoing community relations. With a lot of mutual cooperation we have made significant progress on these important issues. We look forward to a day in the near future that will change the skyline and the future of the South End.”

MGM will also be supplying city officials with a final report on the efforts to assist former tenants of building located on its campus.  

The major points in the report include:

Regional marketing efforts

“This obligation primarily arises upon the operations commencement date. However, MGM is already in the process of undertaking regional marketing efforts including an early March 2015 meeting with the Greater Springfield Visitors and Convention Bureau to discuss tourism marketing opportunities. In addition, MGM had an introductory meeting with the MassMutual Center to discuss marketing efforts.”


“As of the date of this report, MGM has created and maintained six full-time operations jobs. Four of those employees are residents of the Greater Springfield area, including two residents of the city of Springfield. MGM is working closely with the Massachusetts Casino Careers Training Institute (MCCTI) to provide city residents with information and access to training programs relating to positions at the project.”

Working on curriculum for training programs

MGM is working on establishing the training programs necessary for its workforce. “Additionally, MGM Resorts International has recruited and hired students from Western Massachusetts for internship and management training opportunities in our Las Vegas properties. These students, representing a number of Springfield and regional institutions of higher education, are receiving hands-on experience in?a variety of operational areas and gaining management insights from mentors and executives of MGM Resorts International.”

Opportunities for local businesses

“MGM’s obligations to use best efforts to ensure that at least $50 million of its annual biddable goods and services are prioritized for local procurement, and to work with local business associations to educate businesses on the opportunities provided by MGM’s commitment to source such goods and services locally, does not begin until the operations commencement date.

“However, since 2013, MGM has sponsored or participated in a number of engagement events in Western Massachusetts and the Commonwealth … As a result of MGM’s outreach, 140 suppliers from Massachusetts registered in the MGM Resorts International vendor database by the end of 2014 with 93 of those businesses with addresses from Springfield and West Springfield. Thirty-five percent of those registered in 2014 were classified as having diverse business ownership. As of February 2015, the number of businesses registered with the MGM Resorts International procurement team stands at 206 and will continue to grow.”

Surrounding community agreements

“MGM is current on all obligations pursuant to the Surrounding Community Agreements executed between MGM and communities designated as Surrounding Communities. In addition, MGM is developing regionally based solutions and other strategies for mitigating potential impacts on surrounding communities from the development of the Project and is funding an independent and objective third party study to quantify the positive and negative impacts on Surrounding Communities pursuant to those agreements. The remainder of this obligation does not begin until the operations commencement date and, therefore, requires no further update at this time.”

Other aspects of the development

According to the report MGM is working with the city to relocate the playground equipment currently at da Vinci Park. The company is designing the proposed skating rink and the trolley system that will transport visitors around the city. MGM paid the city $150,000 on Nov. 20, 2014 to construct an “MGM Springfield” branded pavilion at Franconia Golf Course.

The company is also developing a childcare facility.

In the first quarter of 2015, MGM has made contributions totaling $60,000 to programs that help early childhood development and prevent gang violence. The organizations include: “Spirit of Springfield – Bright Nights & The Pancake Breakfast (family entertainment and supports youth development and recreation); Urban League of Springfield – 102nd anniversary dinner (supports youth development programs); NAACP – annual member banquet (supports education advocacy programs); Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation –annual Scholarship Gala (supports programs for prevention of childhood bullies and provides scholarships to high school seniors); Children’s Study Home – annual gala (supports youth services); and Roca – 10th annual breakfast (supports gang prevention and rehabilitation programs).”