State leaders don’t want MGM revisions to cut jobs

Local and state leaders want assurances that the number of jobs hasn't changed with MGM's revisions

<a href="http://mgm.com" target="_blank">MGM Springfield</a>

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –  MGM Springfield says they’re ready to spend a $150 million dollars more than originally planned on their resort casino. As MGM proposes these next set of changes, state and local leaders say the one thing that won’t change is the number of jobs.

What started as an $800 million – $850 million project, now has a budget of $950 million. MGM Springfield on Wednesday clarified the project size will be reduced by 10%, and not the previously reported 14%. They confirmed plans to build a 6-story hotel instead of the 25-story glass tower. Updated site plans show a smaller loading dock, a smaller employee kitchen, and a 10-lane bowling alley instead of 15.

MGM says when it comes to construction, 34 of the companies they’ve worked with are from western Massachusetts. Local leaders told 22News they want to make sure that whatever revisions are made, it doesn’t affect the jobs.

State representative Angelo Puppolo told 22News, “Jobs, economic development. It’s what we envision when we had passed the legislation. But I think what has happened is that there’s been sort of a gap in communication.”

MGM had initially said that once the casino opens, the majority of the 3,000 plus employees will come from the Springfield area.

“Creating jobs for folks in the community and that’s what it’s all about,” says Robert Ziomek, assistant vice president of development at Western New England University. “No matter, whatever the size of the facility is going to be, it’s about creating jobs. And that’s what it’s all about for us.”

MGM says they’ve already spent $235 million on the project. $70 million of that has been spent in Springfield.

The updated plan will have to be approved by Mayor Domenic Sarno, the Springfield City Council, and the State Gaming Commission. MGM is hoping the approval process can be all done by January, so the project can move forward.

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