City Council President wants city to amend casino agreement - News, Weather & Sports

City Council President wants city to amend casino agreement


City Council President Jimmy Ferrera, who has had questions about the city's host community agreement with MGM since it was revealed, issued a statement on Sunday, wanting the city and the casino to re-visit their contract.

"There can be amendments made to this host community agreement," Ferrera told CBS 3 Springfield.

In his press release, Ferrera said he wants Mayor Domenic Sarno and MGM officials to re-visit the agreement, not only to address the minimum investment amount, but look at other items he feels Hard Rock addresses better in its agreement with West Springfield.

"Their mitigation seems to be much more generous than Springfield's mitigation amount of $500,000," said Ferrera. "I think there's was in upwards of $5 million. It seems to be a little bit more of an aggressive document than Springfield document."

Ferrera puts part of the blame of the aggressiveness on timing, as the city was the first one out of the gate with their host agreement.

"Once Springfield's came to light, the surrounding communities who are competing for the license in Western Mass will be aggressively more competitive than Springfield's," Ferrera stated. "So, Springfield is at a disadvantage for that."

Sunday evening, MGM officials took part in the final night of the Puerto Rican Festival at Riverfront Park. CBS 3 cameras caught up with the company's Chief Executive Officer Jim Murren, and asked if he saw a situation where the company may re-visit the agreement.

"[Springfield officials] were tough negotiators," said Murren. "They extracted a lot out of us. It's a robust agreement that gives a lot for Springfield. I think it's in great shape. I think it's very competitive versus the other potential host agreements and we're going to win."

Springfield is competing with Hard Rock in West Springfield and Mohegan Sun in Palmer for the lone Western Mass casino license.

Springfield residents will vote on their casino referendum on Tuesday. West Springfield hopes to vote on their referendum prior to the Big E in September.

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