MGM and Penn National meet Springfield casino deadline - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

MGM and Penn National meet Springfield casino deadline

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Thursday was the final deadline in phase two of the city's casino selection process.

The companies wanting to build in Springfield sent in their detailed plans to City Hall.

Both MGM and Penn National had their proposals into the city before 11 a.m., but they each went about it in very different ways.

One by one, MGM officials unloaded 18 boxes outside of City Hall Thursday morning.

The contents inside detailed what the casino resort has planned for Springfield.

"There was literally no more important project for our company of 62,000 people," said Michael Mathis, vice president of Global Gaming Development for MGM. "It is nice because people returned our calls when we had to get things done."

The 700-page report includes the company's business plan, marketing plan and workforce development plan for the proposed casino in the city's south end.

Penn National's plan for the Springfield's north end was delivered by courier and sat in the same room while MGM made its delivery.

"I do not want to speak to the other proposal," said Mathis. "We are very proud of our proposal and have spent a lot of time working on it. We hope to be evaluated on the way we present it and the substance of it. We think the city deserves something special."

The city now has a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to do it. Both proposals will be reviewed by officials and committees over the next few weeks.

"We will be comparing traffic consultant reports, urban planning results, infrastructure and more in addition to the detail that are in the proposals themselves," said Kevin Kennedy, Springfield's chief development officer.

While the city could enter into host agreements with both MGM and Penn National, there is a good chance Springfield would narrow their choices down to one before presenting to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

"We would not want to be ceding to an outside agency, such as the Gaming Commission, the right to pick an economic development project of this magnitude within Springfield's borders," Kennedy stated. "Springfield should decide that."

Kennedy added that the city will likely make the proposals available to the public within a week.

They hope to enter into hosting agreement talks with one or both casinos by Jan. 25.

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