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MGM Springfield Could Seek Delay in Casino Opening

SPRINGFIELD — City officials confirmed Tuesday that MGM Springfield may coordinate its $800 million casino project in the South End with the reconstruction of the Interstate 91 viaduct through the city’s downtown, which could delay the casino opening until 2018. The original target date was late 2017.

“While the actual opening date is subject to the approval by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the city recognizes that changes may be required to the schedule set forth in the host-community agreement to coordinate with the viaduct construction schedule,” said City Solicitor Ed Pikula. “The city intends to work cooperatively with MGM, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to hold MGM to the promises it made in the host-community agreement, while allowing for the flexibility required to assure a successful opening.”

An MGM Springfield spokesman said the company plans to bring the discussion before the Gaming Commission. Its host-community agreement with Springfield sets financial penalties for opening more than 33 months after licensing, which occurred on Nov. 7, 2014. The I-91 viaduct project is expected to last until the summer of 2018, but financial incentives for an early finish could see it completed by February 2018.

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