Sarno announces host agreement with MGM Springfield - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Sarno announces host agreement with MGM Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Mayor Domenic Sarno announced that MGM Springfield will have the sole community host agreement Tuesday morning.

"This is a game-changing proposal for the city of Springfield. This is a historic moment in the city of Springfield right now," said Sarno.

After months of competition, Springfield officials have selected MGM's multimillion dollar South End Project to move forward in their casino process. The company has pledged to pay the city more than $25 million a year and to bring in thousands of permanent jobs.

"Just everything about what they are offering to us is, I think, where we want to go here in Springfield, and I think they are our best candidate to win, statewide," said the city's Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy.

MGM was selected above Penn National Gaming, which was proposing a Hollywood-style casino in the city's North End. After the decision was announced, Eric Schippers released the following statement:

"We are obviously disappointed by the Mayor's announcement this morning given the time, energy and resources we have invested in our proposed Hollywood Casino, which we felt was the best plan for Springfield given its optimal location and significant ripple effect. However, we respect the Mayor's decision and want to thank him and his entire team for what has been a fair and open process.

As a company well known for its disciplined approach to new development opportunities, we put forth the very best package we felt we could justify from a shareholder return perspective. We congratulate MGM on the decision today and wish them and the City of Springfield the best.

Finally, we want to thank our partner, Peter Picknelly, and all of our friends in the North End and throughout Springfield for their tremendous support throughout this process."

MGM officials were not at the announcement. On a conference call with CBS 3 the company's president Bill Hornbuckle said,"We ultimately need to win the West but I will tell you this today marks a major step for us."

Moving forward the host community agreement will now go to the city council for approval. After that, it will be up to city voters to approve or deny before the proposal can go to the state's gaming commission.

"This is our moment," said Sarno. "This is our time. I ask you each and every one of you for your continued support. together as one we need to rally behind this game changing economic development proposal."

The city expects a referendum vote to take place mid July.

Click to read the detailed host agreement between Springfield and MGM.

It now appears MGM, Mohegan Sun and Hard Rock International are all in the running for the only casino license that will be allotted in the Western part of the state.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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