MGM Springfield casino

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts has voted to extend a moratorium on new pawn shops for an additional three years.

Springfield Water and Sewer Commission Ex. Dir. Joshua Schimmel
WAMC

Although many pipes are more than a century old, the utility infrastructure in Springfield, Massachusetts is in good shape and is continually being upgraded, according to officials who spoke at a public forum. The roundtable was scheduled after a water main break last month caused a large sinkhole on Main Street and raised concerns about what is happening underground.

MGMSpringfield

Massachusetts casino regulators have approved a redesign of the MGM Springfield casino with the chairman of the state gaming commission saying he remains excited about the project’s potential to lift the economically struggling city.

WAMC

State and local officials gathered today at the construction site of the MGM casino in Springfield to mark a milestone in the project, the relocation of a 129-year-old church.

MGMSpringfield

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is being asked to pay out more than $2.5 million from a special fund to resolve problems blamed on the construction of the MGM Springfield casino.

The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, a community health center, and two suburban municipalities have applied for Community Mitigation funds claiming unexpected costs and other hardships as a result of the casino project.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

The first casino approved for construction in western Massachusetts cleared a milestone regulatory hurdle Monday night in Springfield. The city council approved the site plan for the MGM Springfield casino.

The council voted 12-1 to approve the site plan for the $950 million casino project and to accept changes to the host community agreement with MGM that eliminates a 25-story hotel tower from the project.

Ceremonial ground-breaking at the Rivers Casino $480 million residential-retail development project in Schenectady, NY (February 3, 2016)
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Builders of the Rivers Casino in Schenectady are sticking to an aggressive construction schedule as they plan to open sooner than previously projected.

A former brick factory building in Holoke, Ma
WAMC

A community college in western Massachusetts has been awarded federal funding to build new classrooms to train people for careers in the hospitality industry, a field where job opportunities will explode in a few years with the opening of a casino in Springfield.

Police officials in Springfield are urging members of the city council to extend the western Massachusetts city’s moratorium on new pawn shops.

Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri said the two-year moratorium has helped to control crime – not just in Springfield but throughout western Massachusetts — and he recommends it be extended beyond its scheduled expiration this June.

Barbieri said the 42 pawn shops and junk dealers currently licensed in the city is a manageable number for police to keep tabs on.

WAMC

Work has begun to clear the site in Springfield where MGM proposes to build the first casino in western Massachusetts. 

Work crews are tearing down the former Zanetti school building, marking the start of the major demolition work that will precede construction of the planned $950 million resort casino that is scheduled to open to the public in September 2018.

construction workers in front of buidling
WAMC

MGM Resorts International is planning to start demolishing buildings in mid-January to clear the site in downtown Springfield where the company intends to build the first casino in western Massachusetts.  2015 was a year of delay and downsizing for the casino project.

When MGM held the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Springfield casino in late March with the former Zanetti school building as the backdrop for photographs with construction workers and machinery no one would have predicted the building would still be standing nine months later.

WAMC

MGM  has secured approvals from Massachusetts casino industry regulators and the city of Springfield’s legislative body that allow it to demolish buildings and do other work to prepare the site where the company proposes to build a $950 million casino. After almost a year of delays, there could soon be significant construction work on the project.

  It’s a been a bumpy road for the MGM Springfield project of late.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock he’s still ambivalent about casinos. 

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

Massachusetts gambling regulators are pressing for more details on why the cost of MGM’s planned Springfield casino has ballooned.  The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, during a meeting in Springfield Thursday, heard mixed opinions from the public about changes in the project MGM is proposing in an effort to control the costs.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

The latest plans by MGM Resorts International for building a casino in Springfield will be carefully scrutinized in the next few weeks by local officials and Massachusetts gaming industry regulators.  The public will also have opportunities to comment.

The city of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development has announced it has received a complete site plan application for the MGM casino project triggering a 30-day internal review and setting the stage for a public hearing by the city council within 45 days.

A photo of concrete barriers on Main Street in Springfield at the casino job site
WAMC

Businesses in the area where MGM is planning to build a resort casino in Springfield, Massachusetts complain about a loss of parking and a reduction in foot traffic. But it appears the business owners can expect no relief from the city.

Concrete barriers put around the 14-acre casino construction  site that extend out to just beyond the edge of the curb along heavily traveled Main and State Streets will remain in place after the Springfield City Council recently deadlocked 6-6 on a vote to order the removal of the structures.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to come to Springfield on December 3 for a public meeting where officials from MGM are expected to present a comprehensive cost and design analysis of the latest plans for a casino in the city.

MGM officials say the budget to develop a resort casino in Springfield has increased to $950 million -- $150 million more than the estimated investment when the gaming commission awarded a license for the project in June 2014.

Springfield leaders have invited representatives of MGM Resorts to a public conference to explain recent changes to its $800 million casino project. 

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

MGM is presenting significant changes to its planned $800 million Springfield, Massachusetts casino.

WAMC

Political consultants, pundits, and politicians paid attention to the off-year municipal elections in western Massachusetts Tuesday for clues to what voters are looking for heading into 2016 with the presidency and many federal and state offices at stake.

There were few surprises, or even close calls, for most of the mayors running for re-election Tuesday, but that does not mean they had an easy time of it, according to Springfield-based political consultant Tony Cignoli.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

The top executive from MGM Resorts International reaffirmed his commitment to the Massachusetts casino project in Springfield this week and apologized for a communications breakdown with City Hall over a proposal to reduce the scope of the development. He also said more changes are in store for the $800 million project, but nothing he would consider major.

Paul Tuthill / WAMC

The top brass from MGM Resorts International are coming to Springfield, Massachusetts this week to do some fence- mending.  Mayor Domenic Sarno and other city officials were blindsided by MGM’s proposal to downsize the Springfield casino project by 14 percent.  But, a detailed public explanation of the reasons for the changes proposed in the project will likely not be forthcoming this week.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

This could be a pivotal week as officials in Springfield, Massachusetts determine how they will respond to the proposed downsizing of the casino planned by MGM Resorts.  The City Council is holding a special meeting this evening. City officials have invited top MGM officials to a meeting later in the week to explain the proposed changes.

Researchers are looking at the impact on Massachusetts from the introduction of large-scale casino gambling.  The project, funded by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, is looking not only at problem gambling, but also at whether the economic benefits touted by casino proponents become reality. Preliminary findings were presented at a recent forum in Springfield sponsored by Partners for a Healthier Community.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the lead investigator, Rachel Volberg of the UMass Amherst School of Public Health.

construction workers in front of buidling
WAMC

MGM wants to shrink by 14 percent its proposed resort casino development in Springfield, Massachusetts. The proposal surprised and angered the city’s mayor, who has been one of the project’s biggest boosters.

City of Springfield

Could a Boston Red Sox affiliate minor league baseball team someday play in a brand new stadium in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts?    As one city official said, “Don’t be afraid to dream.”

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has had discussions with the managing general partner of the Pawtucket Red Sox about relocating the Triple-A team from its longtime Rhode Island home to Springfield.

"There has been talk and chatter and I am open to formal discussions," said Sarno.

WAMC

A top official with MGM Resorts International Monday pledged the company’s strong commitment to building a casino in Springfield. MGM upped the ante by announcing plans to take a former school department building off the city’s hands and redevelop it.

wikipedia.org

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes are officially seeking potential locations for a jointly run casino north of Hartford to compete with a casino planned for nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

There will be no voter referendum on the controversial changes proposed in the design of the MGM Springfield casino.

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton, who had hoped to put a non-binding question on the municipal election ballot to gauge public opinion on MGM’s plan to eliminate the high-rise hotel from the casino project, withdrew his resolution.

" We ran out of time," said Fenton.  " I think it is unfortunate because I believe it deserved further review and consideration."

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

Proposed changes to the design of the resort casino MGM plans to build in downtown Springfield have sparked considerable discussion and debate over the last week.  The Springfield City Council tonight will consider giving voters a say this November.

The council, at a special meeting, will consider putting a non-binding question on the November 3 municipal election ballot that asks voters if they support MGM Springfield’s proposal to eliminate the high-rise glass façade hotel from the casino project.

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