Mayor and MGM Springfield President sign community host agreemen - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Mayor and MGM Springfield President sign community host agreement

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After almost two and half months of negotiations, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and MGM Springfield President Bill Hornbuckle made their partnership official by signing the host community agreement.

The agreement which calls for more than $25 million in annual payments to the city will now go to the city council for approval.

"We're going to continue what we've been doing," said Hornbuckle. "We are going to continue our campaign, we are going to continue our outreach and really put the significance and the importance behind getting their support."

Hornbuckle told the crowd that it's not enough to just get 51 percent of the vote. He said he wants residents to overwhelmingly approve the proposal.

"When the Mass gaming commission and the selection group and the commissioners look at where they want to put one of these things, we want them to be able to say Springfield is the right spot with confidence because the vast majority of electorate there not only understood the program but wanted the program, so I think it's critical that we get that vote as high as we can," said Hornbuckle.

And as the company takes one step closer in the competition, many members of the business community spoke about the impact the MGM casino could have.

"We know that the value of the relationship that we've negotiated exceeds a million dollars per year but our plan is to work with MGM if they are selected to leverage that up we just want to keep going from there," said the Executive Director of the MassMutual Center Jim Rooney.

"I mean I think it's a really great thing for the city of Springfield," said business owner Ron Laprise. "I mean when this casino comes down here it should bring a lot of people down to this area to maybe work and that will help a business like mine as well."

The city council will be meeting Wednesday night to discuss the community host agreement.

Hard Rock International in West Springfield and Mohegan Sun in Palmer are also competing for the sole casino license to be granted in Western Mass.

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