MGM continues reaching out to Springfield as vote nears - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

MGM continues reaching out to Springfield as vote nears

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Massachusetts may have just gone through a special election for U.S. Senate, but the city has another vote on the horizon.

In just more than two weeks, residents will go to the polls to decide if MGM can move forward with a proposed $800 million casino resort in the city's South End.

"It's about jobs," said Mayor Domenic Sarno as he addressed the 70-plus resident who packed into MGM's Springfield office Saturday morning for a day of canvassing the city. "This MGM casino brings thousands of good-paying jobs to the city of Springfield."

With the July 16 vote nearing, Sarno told CBS 3 the casino and supporters cannot slow down.

"We don't take anything for granted," Sarno stated. "We want to make sure people get any and all information that they need. It's important that they get out to vote. This is a game-changer for the city of Springfield, and I firmly believe in this project."

Carol Kerr has lived in Springfield for the last three years, but spent much of her childhood in the area. She said she has supported MGM's effort from the start, with the idea of improving city's quality of life.

"It's going to rejuvenate our downtown," said Kerr. "A place that I as a Forest Park Heights resident can walk to. I like the ability to come downtown on a Friday Night and just walk around and enjoy that. I can't do that anymore."

While MGM officials want residents to say "yes", they said it would make even more of an impact if they get positive response from an overwhelming majority.

"We want to make a strong showing at the gaming commission," said Kelley Tucky, vice president of community and public affairs for MGM. "We feel that if we can get well beyond that 50 percent approval that the gaming commission is going to give Springfield a serious look at getting the one license for Western Massachusetts."

Along with MGM, two other casinos are vying for the lone Western Mass license.

They are Hard Rock in West Springfield and Mohegan Sun in Palmer.

A decision from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is expected early next year.

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