SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Representatives from Penn National Gaming and MGM gathered in downtown Springfield to present the latest version of their casino plans to residents of the city. Both companies had a lot to talk about during the presentation at City Stage, the biggest concern – traffic, specifically how the casino traffic will affect our daily commute.
MGM's traffic study says that their proposed casino in the South End will bring 3.7 million cars to Springfield each year. We'll see 35% of that traffic volume over the weekend.
MGM said that residents won't have to worry about their commute to work being disrupted, because most people will not be traveling to the casino in the morning. In fact, they expect most visitors to come after 6:00 P.M. using I-91 and I-291.
Penn National also expects most of their visitors at night, using I-91 and I-291. With their proposed casino in the North End, they say traffic shouldn't be an issue because they are so close to the highway and that drivers should expect delays of no longer than 30 seconds.
Penn National expects some four million visitors per year.
22News spoke with residents who say that they came to this presentation to hear solutions to traffic concerns.
"I think traffic is a key concern. Overall, I'm a supporter of bringing a casino to Springfield because I think it's going to be great for the economy. Will it have some issues on its own? Sure, but the issues we are going to be relieving will be far greater than the issues than it might bring," Carol Kerr of Forest Park said.
Penn National wants to build a casino along Main Street in Springfield's North End, while MGM wants to develop a site between Main Street and East Columbus Avenue in the South End.