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City of Springfield, MGM Springfield Win International Economic-development Award

SPRINGFIELD — MGM Springfield and the city of Springfield Office of Planning and Economic Development (OPED) have received a 2019 Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for the MGM Springfield project. The award was presented by the IEDC last month at its annual conference in October in Indianapolis.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award from IEDC, the pre-eminent economic-development professional organization,” said Mayor Domenic Sarno. “It really highlights what we were trying to do in partnership with MGM Springfield from the start — create jobs, catalyze private investment, and improve quality of life.”

The Gold Excellence in Public-Private Partnership Award was presented to Brian Connors, the city’s deputy director of Economic Development, and was the only award category highlighted during the conference keynote event. The award recognizes outstanding and innovative development projects that have significantly enhanced revitalizations.

“When gaming legislation was approved in 2011, it was done so on the basis of economic development, economic growth, and job creation,” said Michael Mathis, MGM Springfield president. “To now be highlighted by world’s largest organization in economic development is a tribute to all of the hard work done at MGM Resorts and our partners in the city and the Commonwealth.”

OPED’s team was led through the MGM Springfield project by now-retired Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy, and also included Phillip Dromey, deputy director of Planning, and Scott Hanson, principal planner.

The MGM Springfield project represented a $960 million private investment, resulting in several new-to-market amenities, including a downtown movie theater, bowling alley, ice-skating rink, four-star hotel, and several new retail and restaurant offerings.

In addition, MGM’s commitment to populate existing offsite entertainment facilities became another highlight to economic spinoff, as did the commitment to $50 million each year in spending with local vendors. The project has created several thousand construction and permanent jobs and greatly enhanced local revenues, which helped fund additional public-safety, early-education, and park improvements.

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