SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has joined a growing chorus of local leaders challenging MGM Springfield on holding up their end of the community host agreement.
It started with concerns from Springfield residents, letting their state representatives know that they aren’t seeing the downtown renewal they were promised in the five years since the casino.
Representative Bud Williams and City Councilor Malo Brown brought those concerns to Mayor Sarno who went straight to the source, telling 22News he raised the concerns to President and CEO of MGM Resorts International William Hornbuckle. Sarno said Hornbuckle is now planning a visit to discuss the concerns.
“Again, there are some things that MGM has done very, very well. Especially the financials. But I would like to see some of the restaurants they have there and some of the other amenities open,” said Mayor Sarno. “I had a good conversation with Mr. Hornbuckle yesterday and he told me ‘Mayor, I’ll be out there and we will move forward from there.'”
Meanwhile, MGM continues the approval process to accept sports wagers, their next presentation and opportunity for approval scheduled for Monday.
MGM Springfield sent 22News the following statement:
“Since opening our doors in 2018, MGM Springfield has achieved all of our development commitments made to the City of Springfield. As the largest private investment in Western Massachusetts, we’re proud that we’ve been able to provide the city with more than $100 million in tax revenue to-date. And although we were closed for nearly four months in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and under significant operational restrictions for ten months, we were able to provide our team members with healthcare throughout and the benefits afforded through our Employee Assistance Fund. We look forward to working with the City of Springfield as it reinvests this revenue in downtown Springfield, and to continue to work towards our shared goal of revitalizing this historic community and reenergizing downtown Springfield.”