MGM Springfield touted the tower for years, why change the plan now?

22News spoke with Springfield residents about the change of plan

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – MGM Springfield wants to change the design of it’s casino, but the changes have the Gaming Commission and some residents asking why?

MGM Springfield went before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Thursday and pitched their new plan that doesn’t include their signature glass tower.

MGM said the 25-story hotel tower that they’ve touted for three years needs to be changed mainly due to construction costs so they could stay reasonably within their $800 million budget.

Bill Devlin, of Springfield said, “The main design element they had in terms of attracting people from offsite especially people coming from the south was the hotel tower, they must be in deep trouble if they’re giving up that big flag.”

The tower would be replaced by a 6 story hotel at the corner of Main and Howard Street. A plan the mayor and city councilor Tim Rooke says they’re on-board with because the horizontal design will bring visitors to businesses.

One of the biggest concerns about the design change with residents 22News spoke with is that there is not enough business on Main Street to draw people to. But the hope is that will all change in three years time.

Rooke said, “You could roll a bowling ball down main street at night and you wouldn’t hit anybody. But if you bring 8 to 9 million people into the city of Springfield your going to see a lot of people with disposable incomes supporting new businesses and providing new opportunities.”

While changes were expected the Commission said it was taken aback by how sudden and how much inflation has played a role.

Timothy Paul, a part of the Council of Churches of Greater Springfield and community advocate said, “There is a major major wind shift towards the change of the feelings about this project.”

MGM will now have to come up with more detailed estimates on the design change to enable them to get approval from the Commission.

City council will be holding a special emergency meeting Tuesday night at city hall.

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