Get ready to celebrate — Downtown Springfield is hosting a massive party for the new $960 million MGM Springfield casino and resort complex.
MGM Springfield’s grand opening is set for Friday, Aug. 24, and will include a parade down Main Street featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales, local dignitaries, some surprise entertainment and MGM staff.
The Main Street procession will begin at 10:30 a.m. local time at the corner of State Street and Main Street. It will end at MGM Springfield’s front doors, which will officially open to the public at 11 a.m.
Highlights include a 125,000 square-foot casino
The 2 million-square-foot property, spanning 14.5 acres across three city blocks in Downtown Springfield, includes a 125,000 square-foot, smoke-free casino. Inside, gamblers will find as many as 2,550 slot machines and 120 table games, and a poker room and a high-limit VIP gaming lounge.
Parking and traffic information
Traffic in Downtown Springfield is expected to be quite hectic throughout the entire opening weekend.
In a story this week, MassLive.com advises readers that Springfield will address traffic on Interstate 91 and some local roads by closing Exit 6 for a few hours beginning at 6 a.m. Drivers headed to the opening have been advised to use Exits 4, 5 or 7.
Once all 3,4000 garage spaces are filled up, visitors are being encouraged to park for free at the Big E.
An express shuttle will start taking people from Big E to the property at 6 a.m. and will run every five to 10 minutes through to 8 a.m. Saturday. Memorial Bridge will feature an express lane for the Big E shuttle.
Additional transportation options
MGM Springfield has also teamed up with Uber to provide designated pick-up and drop-off locations for anyone using the ride-sharing service. Additionally, The Loop, a free public transportation service linking MGM Springfield to Union Station, the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Springfield Armory and other downtown destinations will launch Friday.
Ultimately, The Loop will run 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday.
Additionally, parking will be available at:
- Civic Center Garage at 41 Harrison Ave.
- I-91 South Garage at 1620 East Columbus Ave.
- I-91 North Garage at 1870 East Columbus Ave
- Union Station Garage at 1771 Main St.
- Tower Square Garage at 1500 Main St.
- Monarch Garage at 1414 Main St.
The Republican at 1860 Main St. is also offering parking for $10 per car. However, parking restrictions will be in effect for streets surrounding MGM Springfield throughout opening weekend.
Downtown Springfield road closures during the grand opening include:
- Main Street from Court Street to Union Street
- State Street from MGM Way to Dwight Street
- Union Street from Main Street to Hall of Fame Avenue
MGM Springfield gaming revenue projections
MGM Resorts is certainly bullish on the local gambling market.
The gaming giant has projected the property will earn $500 million in annual gross gaming revenues by year three of operations. Close to 87 percent of that will come from patrons in Western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut.
More than $400 million is expected to come from slot machines and the rest from table games. In its fourth year, MGM has projected the property will be earning closer to $512 million in overall gross gaming revenue and $525 million in year five.
More amenities to enjoy
More than just a casino and hotel, entertainment options at MGM Springfield include a TopGolf Swing Suite, full-service spa, luxury cinema, Tap Arcade and 10-lane Bowling Alley.
High-end dining options will include Chefs Michael Mina and Adam Sobel’s Cal Mare and Hell’s Kitchen season 14 winner Meghan Gill’s The Chandler Steakhouse.
Casual dining options include the South End Market with Wicked Noodles, Jack’s Lobster Shack and Bill’s Diner.
Additionally, there are several bars and lounges on the property. This includes Lobby Bar, The Knox Bar late-night gaming lounge serving until 4 a.m., and Commonwealth Bar & Lounge.
There will be plenty of live entertainment throughout grand opening weekend. This includes Dropkick Murphys playing at The Plaza at MGM Springfield on Saturday, Aug. 25. The A-list entertainment lineup kicks off Sept.1 with a Stevie Wonder concert at the new MassMutual Center.
Massachusetts’ second commercial casino
MGM Springfield will be Massachusetts’ second commercial casino, and promising to be New England’s first integrated luxury resort, casino and entertainment destination.
The Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville became the state’s first casino when Penn National Gaming opened the slots parlor back in 2015. The $2.4 billion Encore Boston Harbor (formerly Wynn Boston Harbor) will become Massachusetts’ third commercial casino property when it opens in Everett in the summer of 2019.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is currently building the state’s first Native American casino. The $1 billion First Light Resort & Casino has plans to open in Taunton sometime in 2018.