It’s been made apparent that Vegas casino tycoon Steve Wynn wants to bring a $1billion casino and conference centre to the Patriots land near Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, after numerous reports of proposals between him and New England owner Robert Kraft.
Hoping to win local approval in a matter of months, meetings were held yesterday so the two entrepreneurs could pitch Foxboro officials on their plans for a gambling mecca, hotel, a convention centre, music hall, five-star restaurants and shopping centre on the land.
In the meetings, the Boston Herald reports that Kraft said: “We have the best (casino) operating person in the world,” followed by a tout that the resort would bring 10,000-plus jobs to Foxboro, with town residents and their children getting first choice on more sought-after positions.
In their proposal to the officials, Kraft said he would lease the land across Route 1 from Gillette Stadium to Wynn for the casino. But to go ahead, they need to seek a local vote, which they said would be in 90-120 days.
Wynn added: “(The casino) would be a very beautiful low- to mid-rise building no taller than Gillette Stadium. A casino’s success these days has a lot to do with non-casino things. It would have a resort feeling.” The pair are pretty pally considering it was apparently only seven months ago that Wynn and Kraft met, with last weekend being only their third face-to-face meeting to discuss the proposal.
Another report by the Boston Herald states that one of several meetings attendees, Foxboro Selectmen Chairman, Larry Harrington, said: “They both acknowledged it’s going to be a tough battle to get it through, because there’s a lot of emotion around it.”
A two-thirds vote would be needed to pass the proposal at Foxboro town meeting as well as a majority vote in a general election. The reports makes it clear that sides are already forming but residents said they’re “torn between their respect for Kraft and their fears for Foxboro”.
Harrington added: “The telephone calls I’m getting are 50/50. There are some who think it will change the community forever. There are some who say, ‘Hey, I need a job.’ I have people who are frankly upset that we’re even listening.”
In the closed-doors meetings, Kraft and Wynn projected $15 million in revenue a year for the town. However, Kraft and Wynn would also need the state Gaming Commission’s approval for their plans to go ahead, which could lead to them facing House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Mayor Thomas M. Menino; who prefer Suffolk Downs in East Boston for the region’s single casino license.
Something else that might also be standing in the way of the proposal is the question on most locals’ lips: Can an NFL stadium and a Las Vegas-style casino coexist on a busy stretch of Route 1?
The double act have said they plan to release a rendering of the resort and more details about the proposed casino “soon”.