SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The other developer that was vying for a casino in Springfield is calling Tuesday’s announcement that Springfield had reached a host agreement with MGM “disappointing.”
In a statement released Tuesday morning, Eric Schippers, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs of Penn National Gaming says that the company felt that it presented “the best plan for Springfield given its optimal location and significant ripple effect” for Springfield.
Penn National Gaming had proposed an $800 million casino project for Springfield’s North End, on land currently occupied by The Republican newspaper and the Peter Pan bus terminal.
Penn National’s project was a joint venture between their company and Springfield businessman Peter Picknelly.
While the company is “obviously disappointed” in Tuesday’s news, Schippers adds that the company respects Sarno’s decision, congratulates MGM, and wishes MGM and the city the best.
Full text of the statement from Schippers below:
“We are obviously disappointed by the Mayor’s announcement this morning given the time, energy and resources we have invested in our proposed Hollywood Casino, which we felt was the best plan for Springfield given its optimal location and significant ripple effect. However, we respect the Mayor’s decision and want to thank him and his entire team for what has been a fair and open process.
As a company well known for its disciplined approach to new development opportunities, we put forth the very best package we felt we could justify from a shareholder return perspective. We congratulate MGM on the decision today and wish them and the City of Springfield the best.
Finally, we want to thank our partner, Peter Picknelly, and all of our friends in the North End and throughout Springfield for their tremendous support throughout this process.”