August 30, 2018

MGM Springfield attracts 150K patrons during opening weekend

PHOTO | MGM Springfield
PHOTO | MGM Springfield
MGM Springfield drew over 150,000 guests during its opening weekend.

MGM Springfield said it drew more guests than expected during its opening weekend unveiling its $960 million casino and entertainment complex.

More than 150,00 visitors jammed the revived three-block venue, with hotel and restaurants at capacity for its first three days, said Michael Mathis, the casino's president and chief operating officer.

MGM, Massachusetts' first casino, opened late Friday morning after a pre-opening event Thursday night, joined by actor Mark Wahlberg to announce the 2019 opening of Wahlburgers restaurant there. The casino held its first outdoor concert Saturday featuring the American celtic punk band the Dropkick Murphys, who played to a sold-out crowd, Mathis said.

MGM is ramping up its entertainment Saturday with a concert by musician and producer Stevie Wonder at nearby MassMutual Center.

For several years, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun have been adding to their offerings to combat the lost revenue and talent MGM is expected to lift from the region. The tribes are also partnering on a proposed $300 million satellite casino in East Windsor to offset those losses in north central Connecticut.

MGM undertook Springfield's largest hiring effort and largest private investment in western Massachusetts' history, investing about $100 million in annual payroll and benefits for about 3,000 employees.

The casino includes a six-story, 252-room hotel, a spa, a large variety of retail and dining options and a 10-lane bowling alley. Its 125,000-square-foot gaming floor features about 2,550 slot machines, 120 gaming tables, a poker room and other for high-stakes gambling.

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