SPRINGFIELD — On Thursday, MGM Springfield announced the terms of a MassMutual Center venue-management agreement with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and Spectra by Comcast Spectacor. MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis, together with MCCA Executive Director David Gibbons and Spectra Regional Vice President Matt Hollander, outlined the phased management-transition plan during a presentation at the MassMutual Center (MMC).
In front of approximately 175 current Spectra employees who work at the MMC, MGM Resorts executives presented a transition plan that will commence as early as July 1. At that time, MGM Springfield will become the exclusive venue manager of the MMC and will work in partnership with Spectra, which will provide management-transition services in support of MGM, while also overseeing food and beverage services until a similar transition plan is reached with MGM.
“We are thrilled to enter into this agreement that leverages the best of what our company has to offer, in order to make best use of the MMC and drive downtown economic development,” Mathis said. “We commend Spectra and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on all they have accomplished with the MMC, and we are excited about the future opportunities that will come with the opening of our $950 million casino resort across the street. Creating experiences that attract visitors is what we do at MGM. We look forward to partnering with the professionals at Spectra during this transition period to make the MMC a central component in Springfield’s revitalization.”
The announcement comes as a result of discussions following a winning joint bid last year by MGM and Spectra for the five-year contract to operate the MMC, an 8,000-seat, multi-purpose arena and convention center in downtown Springfield, one block from the MGM Springfield site.
Early on, MGM committed to using its extensive entertainment relationships and partnerships to bring 12 performances annually to existing Springfield venues — the MMC, CityStage, and Symphony Hall. The commitment was memorialized in the host-community agreement with the city of Springfield.
“The MCCA is excited about the future of the MassMutual Center and downtown Springfield,” Gibbons said. “Spectra has been a great partner in the management of the center since it opened in 2005. And with a world-renowned entertainment and hospitality leader moving in across the street, we now have the power of MGM’s extraordinary industry relationships to look forward to on our future marquees.”
Added Hollander “Spectra has always been committed to the success of the MassMutual Center. We appreciate the opportunity that the MCCA provided us to operate the center, and we look forward to working with the MGM Springfield team in the coming year to leverage on the achievements we and our local hospitality and tourism partners have built.”
As a result of the management agreement, MGM Springfield will welcome about 175 full-time and part-time MMC employees as early as July 1. MGM Springfield plans to host several informational sessions for its new employees in the spring. These employees will join the more than 72,000 MGM Resorts employees around the world, gaining access to MGM’s training and expertise as an industry leader in entertainment and hospitality, including sales, marketing, meetings, and events.
Marikate Murren, MGM Springfield director of Human Resources, noted that, “for almost five years, MGM has had an opportunity to see MMC employees host special events, small and large-scale meetings, and first-rate entertainment offerings. Our entire company looks forward to welcoming these hard-working, proud, and diverse professionals and learning from their local experience, passion, and knowledge.”
In the near future, MGM and Spectra will be working on increased cross-marketing opportunities, streamlined job and customer-service training, coordinated purchasing of local goods and services, and a new, stronger, multi-faceted approach to trade and industry events. Additionally, MGM Springfield will manage the long-term event calendar, reinforcing its commitment to bring entertainment back to downtown by leveraging its expertise and brand to attract high-quality programming.
“From day one, MGM Springfield vowed to use MGM’s entertainment roots to bring the arts and entertainment back to downtown Springfield,” Mathis said. “This agreement furthers our engagement, allowing us to be central to the discussions and decisions about the events that will best serve Springfield, and how we can best leverage the facility to benefit local businesses.”