We are just over six weeks away from the grand opening of the MGM Springfield casino.
A procession down Main Street will kick off the grand opening celebration on the morning of August 24.
The parade will step off at 10:30 a.m. from the corner of State and Main Streets, and will feature the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
The Clydesdales will arrive at MGM Springfield at 11 a.m., at which time the doors to the casino will officially open.
Springfield police have also been preparing for the grand opening. Police spokesman Ryan Walsh told 22News 25 officers are assigned to the metro unit that patrols the downtown area.
Walsh said that number will increase to 40 officers once the casino opens.
“We’re going to make sure that our visitors to MGM are safe walking around downtown Springfield and our metro unit,” Walsh told 22News. “There’s going to be high visibility, a large police presence and that’s going to make them feel comfortable.”
In terms of traffic surrounding the casino, MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis sent 22News this statement:
“We are counting down the days and hours until we open our doors on August 24 to invite in the Springfield community and visitors from around the world. The anticipation from everyone involved in this resort is at a fever pitch and we are more excited now than ever to see this all become a reality,” said Michael Mathis, president of MGM Springfield.
Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said, “This is a day many of us have worked toward and have long looked forward to celebrating. I am excited to play a role in the opening day of MGM Springfield, opening the door to a new resort, as well as a new era for Springfield and its citizens. I appreciate MGM’s continued belief and tremendous investment in our city.”
MGM Springfield also will host several private invitation-only events in the weeks leading up to the August 24 public opening.