SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The 22News I-Team has confirmed that Springfield mayor Domenic Sarno will announce Tuesday morning that the city will move forward with MGM Springfield in the city's South End.
Two separate sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the 22News I-Team MGM's host community agreement will be selected by the city.
The 22News I-Team has not confirmed if that means Penn National Gaming will be eliminated. Although as of 8pm, Peter Picknelly, a 50/50 partner with Penn National Gaming, told 22News he has not been made aware of the mayor's decision and originally believed an announcement was going to happen on Wednesday or Thursday. 22News I-Team reporter Ryan Walsh informed him of Tuesday's announcement.
Springfield officials and both developers have said they prefer that only one casino is chosen in the city. If Penn National is not selected by Springfield, it can still move to another location in the state including another location in western Massachusetts. Chicopee has been open to finding a casino partner throughout this entire process.
What's next for Springfield is after the Mayor makes his announcement, the city council will have to approve the host community agreement, and then the casino developer will call for a vote, which will happen between 60-90 days after the developer asks for the vote.
MGM's plan includes 3,000 permanent jobs. MGM wants to hire 35% of its employees from Springfield and 90% for the entire region.
MGM is partnering with Paul Picknelly, Fran Cataldo and Tom Murphy, who combined own a lot of the property that MGM wants to build on. Other partners include Vince Barletta and David Callahan, who are currently suing the city in land court over a special permit for a Biomass plant. Callahan was working with MGM in their short-lived attempt to bring a casino to Brimfield.
MGM also has the option to buy deals with the rest of the buildings it needs to build on. MGM's plan includes an ice skating rink, bowling alley and it will use the MassMutual Center for entertainment.
MGM will incorporate the castle-like façade of the former South End Community Center on Howard Street in its plans.