SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With the demolition of the old Civic Center garage underway, the loss of parking by the MassMutual Center is starting to affect traffic for downtown Springfield events.

“This is a good problem to have, people are flocking to downtown Springfield,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Sarno and city officials announced information and details for parking and traffic plans within the area. Until the new state-of-the-art parking garage is built, Mayor Sarno has coordinated with the Springfield Parking Authority, Police Department and DPW to have traffic details at key intersections downtown to help alleviate the traffic congestion.

“When you leave an event where a lot of people have gone, you’re not going to get into your car and go. We ask you to have patience and we’ll get you out as quickly as possible,” said Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood.

Where to park for Springfield Thunderbirds games due to garage rebuild project

For anyone looking for general parking, there are parking spots and garages throughout the city. Free parking is available at MGM Springfield, and on-street parking is free after 6 p.m. on weekdays and at all times on weekends. Parking is available at the I-91 South Garage for $10.

Parking GarageLocationParking Spaces
MGM Springfield Parking Garage (One MGM Way, Springfield, MA)Accessible from East Columbus Ave3,375
I-91 South Parking Garage1620 East Columbus Ave, Springfield, MA670
I-91 North Parking Garage1870 East Columbus Ave, Springfield, MA1,098
Monarch Place Garage36 Boland Way, Monarch Place2,000
Tower Square Parking Garage(1758 East Columbus AveSpringfield, MA)Accessible from East Columbus Ave and Bridge Street1,203
Hampden Street Parking Lot(23 Hampden Street)Accessible from Hampden Street94
TD Bank: Banknorth Parking Lot(230 Dwight Street, Springfield, MA)Accessible from Dwight Street250
SPA – Dwight Street Parking Lot339 Worthington Street, Springfield, MA109

In addition, the Springfield Police Department will enhance its downtown metro traffic and hospitality details to help alleviate traffic congestion at seven (7) key roadway intersections during peak hours of major downtown events.  SPD traffic details will be located at the following traffic intersections:

  • Main Street and Union Street
  • Main Street and State Street
  • Main Street and Court Street
  • East Columbus Ave and State Street
  • East Columbus Ave and MGM Way
  • East Columbus Ave and Union Street
  • West Columbus Ave and State Street

Accessible parking is located on the corner of Bruce Landon Way and Dwight Street, as well as on Court Street across from the MassMutual Center. 

The Thunderbirds will host the Bridgeport Islanders Friday and on Saturday against the Providence Bruins inside the MassMutual Center, with the puck drop set for 7:05 p.m. each night.

The $40 million parking garage currently being built in downtown Springfield is scheduled to open in late 2023 or 2024. The garage will have up to 1,000 parking spots and 10,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Until then, there are still 8,800 parking spaces available within designated parking areas downtown, on top of street parking.

Although the MGM parking is free, if you’re planning on attending an event in downtown Springfield in the near future, you are encouraged to consider parking at another parking area for a small fee to help break up congestion.

Mayor Sarno states, “First of all, I want to thank my dedicated city team and our key local downtown venue stakeholders for their continued efforts.  Following our Springfield Thunderbirds opening night festivities, which was absolutely fabulous with celebrations in our Court Square before the puck was dropped, we began discussions and held a series of meetings to review the parking and traffic situation in our downtown during major events.  With the demolition of the old Civic Center garage underway, the loss of parking by our MassMutual Center is being felt, especially during sold out games of our beloved Springfield Thunderbirds.  Until the new state-of-the-art parking garage is built, I have coordinated with the Springfield Parking Authority, the Springfield Police Department and DPW to enhance our SPD Metro Unit traffic and hospitality details at key traffic intersections downtown to help alleviate the traffic congestion for when games start and end.” 

“Additionally, we have identified eight (8) alternative parking locations for everyone to utilize,” Mayor Sarno continued.  “In addition to the on-street parking that is available, these parking garages and lots can provide parking for almost 8,800 vehicles and are located within walking distance to our major downtown attractions and venues.” 

“Again, I want to thank MGM Springfield for their partnership and cooperation for opening their parking garage for use during our T-Bird games,” said Mayor Sarno.  “This is a good problem to have, thousands and thousands of people coming into our downtown Springfield to cheer on our AHL Eastern Conference champions and dine at our many restaurant establishments.  I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as our brave and dedicated Springfield Police Officers help direct vehicle traffic during these busy hours.  This is a temporary inconvenience, one that will be remedy once the new modern parking garage facility is built.”

Paul Picknelly stated, “I want to thank Mayor Sarno and his city team for always being responsive to the needs and concerns of our businesses, especially our Springfield Thunderbirds.  T-Birds President Nate Costa and I, after meeting with Mayor Sarno and city officials, are confident that these new enhanced traffic and hospitality details will help ease traffic congestion at peak hours during sold out games at the MassMutual Center and other busy events in our downtown Springfield.  We are optimistic that these additional measures for parking and traffic will help solve this issue that was caused by the demolition of the old Civic Center garage.  We are also excited that the new multi-use parking garage facility that is being built will be a game changer once it is completed.”

“We are thrilled to see the continued renaissance of the City of Springfield with so many people coming to enjoy all of the events and amenities our downtown has to offer,” said MGM Springfield President Chris Kelley. “MGM Springfield fully supports the City’s efforts and creative initiatives to ensure guests have the best experience possible.”

Sean Dolan, General Manager for MassMutual Center said, “On behalf of the MassMutual Center, we’re excited to see the continued growth and economic impact being generated in Downtown Springfield and Western Massachusetts. There has been great collaboration between the City of Springfield, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Springfield Thunderbirds, and MGM Springfield as we all continue working together to deliver a great guest experience to our customers and clients.”