Less than a month after nixing the 25-story hotel tower proposal, MGM Resorts now wants to scale down the total square footage of the Springfield project.
The casino operator is planning to reduce about 14 percent of the total project, removing at least 759,157 square feet from the originally planned 881,691 square feet, WWLP.com reported.
The news outlet quoted a paperwork filed by MGM with the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs, in which the company detailed its latest proposal that will see the amount of retail space in the South End casino reduced by about 26,800 square feet. Areas for cinemas and the bowling alley are among those affected by the size reduction, according to the report.
In addition, the “back-of-the-house” space for resort operations will be reduced by 68,000 square feet as well the eight-level parking space, which will be reduced by at least one level.
The total gaming space will be reduced by only 429 square feet.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno was surprised with the changes, telling 22 News that the casino operator didn’t inform him about the reduction in square footage. Under the host community agreement that MGM signed, “any changes to square footage that could affect jobs or revenue cannot be made without his approval,” Sarno said.
Connecticut calls for another casino across the state border
Across the state border, the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) is looking to open a new casino within the Bradley International Airport, MassLive reported.
CAA executive Kevin Dillon told The Hartford Courant the proposed casino will have 2,000 slot machines and up to 150 tables, with Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun serving as casino operators.
Officials are looking at two sites for the new casino: on the lower floors of a new terminal at the airport or on top of a new transportation center that will be built in 2017.
Bradley International Airport is among the proposed locations in Northern Connecticut to compete with the Springfield casino project, which is scheduled to open 2018.
Dillon told The Courant the proposed casino “would be a nice amenity for travelers and another source of non-aeronautical revenue for the airport.”