SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield Casino Consultant Sid Froelich reviewed the MGM Springfield host agreement with Springfield City Councilors, Wednesday night.
Froelich told 22News he's pleased with how the agreement turned out. He also said that it's a unique agreement because MGM is offering to pay up to $15 million over the next three years--before a casino is actually built.
22News found out what kind of promises and obligations are included in the casino host agreement between Springfield and MGM.
By signing the host agreement, MGM is committing to bringing 3,000 permanent jobs, 4 performances per year at the MassMutual Center , and various redevelopment projects throughout Springfield.
The ideal timeline set up by Springfield's casino consultants and MGM:
- An approval from the City Council by May 15
- Casino referendum on July 16
- The state gaming license early 2014
- Then doors open July 2016
However, even before Springfield voters cast their ballots on the referendum, the host agreement has MGM making some upfront payments.
Once the City Council approves the host agreement, the city will receive $1 million from MGM. Casino Consultant Sid Froelich said that money could be used to balance the budget. Welcome news for City Councilors who have to start working on the next Fiscal Year plan.
Springfield City Councilor John Lysak told 22News, "We are very tight right now. I mean a lot of people are looking at 10% cuts across the board, and you know, I'm hoping this could help us out. Help keep us from closing libraries. Put some more police officers on the street."
In total, MGM will pay $15 million between now and the projected opening date.
Froelich said, "[The money] will go for things like early childhood education. It'll go for health impacts. It'll go for libraries. Obviously real estate taxes to help the citizens with their tax situation."
"The South End Community Center was my first job when I was 16 years old. I went to the Howard Street School, Zanetti School when I was 5 years old. I've been here all my life. It's going to help tremendously. Say they don't come in, what are we going to see for the next 20, 30 years?", said Rico Daniele, who owns Mom & Rico in the city's South End.
The host agreement will be posted, in its entirety, Thursday on WWLP.com.