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Mayor Domenic J. Sarno Issues Statement On City Councilor Ferrera’S Letter Regarding The Casino Host Community Agreement

Wednesday, May 8, 2013-Springfield, MA- In response to City Councilor James Ferrera’s letter dated May 8, 2013, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno is issuing this response by Cezar M. Froelich of the law firm of Shefsky & Froelich Ltd., the City of Springfield’s consultant.

The heavily negotiated Host Community Agreement between MGM and the City of Springfield includes more extensive safeguards guaranteeing MGM will build a world class casino resort and entertainment destination exactly as MGM promised to the residents of Springfield.  The Host Community Agreement describes in great detail the exact project MGM will build, specifying each of the constituent components including the various project amenities such as hotel, spa, retail, office, residential, back of house, child care center, parks, skating rink, number of restaurants and minimum number of yearly entertainment events.  Further, the Host Community Agreement specifies the minimum square footages for these components.  MGM must deliver to the City 50% construction documents and 95% construction documents so that the City can verify compliance with the Host Community Agreement requirements.

In this way, the City knows exactly what MGM will build.  Additionally, the Host Community Agreement specifies that the project will be built in accordance with first class standards, which for the avoidance of doubt, is the standard of construction and finish at the MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas.  While we believe the ultimate cost of the project will be $800 million or more, we are more interested in making sure MGM builds what it promised and we are confident it will.

Everett’s approach was completely different in that their Host Community Agreement does not obligate the developer to build a specific type of casino resort or what elements will be included in the resort.  Instead Everett chose to require a minimum investment by its developer.

While both approaches are reasonable, the City of Springfield chose to have the safeguard of having MGM build what it promised regardless of the cost.  

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