mgm springfield casinoThe construction of the MGM Springfield project is finally poised to go at full-speed almost a year after its groundbreaking ceremony was held.

The project has faced a number of setbacks including a delay in the demolition approval process and a project redesign.

The casino which was expected to launch by late 2017 is now scheduled to open only towards the end of 2018.

The launch was pushed back by a year to allow the completion of the construction of Interstate 91, a highway which is located near the site of casino and would have otherwise impacted the casino’s operations in its pivotal first year of operation.

The preparatory work for MGM Springfield is almost complete with the existing building being partly demolished or razed on the 14.5 acre site on which it will be built. MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis has stated that even though the construction work could not proceed at full pace, the last year was still productive as a lot of underground work at the casino site has now been completed.

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The initial casino proposal had to undergo a fresh review by the historic preservation authority of the city to approve the demolition of some buildings and relocation of heritage buildings which sat on casino site. The casino’s design also underwent a change after MGM Springfield, citing cost overruns removed a glass tower it had earlier proposed thereby reducing the overall size of the complex by around 10 percent.

MGM Resorts International President Bill Hornbuckle stated that the final design was more in harmony with Springfield’s historic character while Mathis has assured that no further changes was likely given that the construction had started in earnest. He added that over the coming year, the historic First Spiritualist Church will be relocated and the parking garage would be making its appearance.

The cost of the project has now escalated to $950 million from $800 million mainly as a result of increased costs in labor, material and related administrative costs. Mathis said that 700 construction workers have been hired so far. Over the course of the construction period around 2,000 temporary jobs will be created while 3,000 permanent jobs will be created after the casino becomes operational.

Regardless of the delays, MGM Resorts has been on course with respect to its financial commitments to the city. It has already paid the city $8 million as pre-opening payment and will be paying a further $4.5 million later in the year. The last installment will be made in 2017, which would be $4 million.

Categories: Casino News

Posted on: 30th March 2016 by: Gary Beachley