Settlement reached over Springfield entertainment license law - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Settlement reached over Springfield entertainment license law

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Months after a federal lawsuit was filed over Springfield's controversial "entertainment license" law, a settlement has been reached.

According to the settlement Scores, Fifth Alarm, Oz and Pure have agreed to close at 1 a.m. each night. Those clubs were previously allowed to stay open until 2 a.m.

Mardis Gras, Center Stage and Xstatic will get special permits to stay open until 2 a.m. with several conditions including no admittance and or re-admittance after 1 a.m. and increased security.

"This will decrease congestion, decrease noise and we won't see the large outpouring of people at 2 a.m. which we think was as lot of the problem," said Springfield City Solicitor Edward Pikula.

Back in April the mayor implemented new regulations stopping all entertainment at bars at 1 a.m. instead of the 2 a.m. with exception of those given special permits.

Since that time the Springfield Police Department has reported a 35 percent reduction in calls in the area between midnight and 3 a.m.

"We've seen a downward trend in the statistics," said Pikula. "This is a good thing for everyone. It is good for business, it is good for the city."

The seven clubs that sued said the city violated their first amendment rights. And, even though crime statistics are getting better in the area, bar goers say that they aren't seeing enough of a change.

"I live down here, I know what goes on down here," said Bob McNelis. "I've been here for 7 1/2 now. And it hasn't done anything besides take revenue from the people that own these businesses."

"I don't think that modifying the time from 2 o'clock to 1 o'clock is really going to make a change in regards to the crime that is going to occur in this area," said Katie Lolos.

CBS 3 did reach out to the lawyers for the bars. Those calls have not yet been returned.

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