Biggest concerns over MGM new casino design

The state's gaming commission likely won't vote on MGM's changes until early next year.

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –  Springfield residents still aren’t sold on how MGM’s new design changes will pull people off the highway to play at the casino.

MGM presented their newest design changes to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in Springfield Thursday. Their goal was to convince the MGC to approve their new plan.

Steve Crosby, Chairman of the Gaming Commission told 22News, “Our job is that when someone has agreed to have a casino, is to make sure that it’s the best it could possibly be, and make sure that it reduces the negative consequences – traffic, crime – to the barest, possible minimum.”

During the public comment, Springfield residents voiced concerns about the project being reduced by 10%. One of the more popular comments that was made during the public hearing was that many people are disappointed that there will no longer be a glass tower that was originally promised to the design. May said that the glass tower was a centerpiece, and that it was a way to attract traffic into the city of Springfield.

“It would make a difference,” says resident Vera O’Connor. “It would make Springfield stand out. It would be unique like branding.”

MGM told the gaming commission keeping the tower would have pushed costs over $1 billion.

Others worry Springfield’s about the loss of historic buildings, like 73 State Street. Bill Devlin says, “They have been after that from day 1, and claimed they couldn’t keep the rotunda where it was because that’s where the elevator banks of the hotel tower went.”

Mayor Domenic Sarno said he’s okay with MGM’s design changes. The first of four city council votes MGM needs to move forward could take place this month. The gaming commission likely won’t vote on MGM’s changes until early next year.

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