Yvonne Abraham’s Oct. 27 Metro column, “Long odds in Springfield,” did not portray an true picture of the efforts by the City of Springfield to redevelop the downtown and South End neighborhoods. After the state enacted legislation to expand the gaming industry in Massachusetts, Springfield undertook an open and competitive process to select the best proposal for a destination resort casino. The process was praised by a variety of voices, including two failed competitors and the chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
The city’s detailed process sparked an interest and then a competition unmatched in other parts of the state. As a result, Springfield negotiated a comprehensive host community agreement with an affiliate of MGM Resorts, one of the largest entertainment companies in the world.
The city is confident and enthusiastic about its methodical choices and its prime location for the many benefits an MGM casino resort would bring. The location, thousands of jobs in an urban center where jobs are most needed, and extraordinary collateral economic impact are all vital to the region. Its benefits were even lauded by an editorial in this newspaper.
After years of systematically laying the groundwork, the city has successfully commenced its rebirth, and the MGM project is going to be the ultimate game-changer.