WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB)— West Springfield voters went to the polls all day today to tell the city and Hard Rock whether or not they want a $800 million casino built in their town.
And according to the town clerk’s office, official numbers show that residents voted against the casino host agreement.
Polling hours started at 7 a.m. and went until 8 p.m. at 4 polling locations for a total of 8 precincts.
West Springfield Casino Referendum Vote
Yes – 3,413 – 45%
No – 4,165 – 55%
8 OF 8 PRECINCTS REPORTING
Jim Allen from Hard Rock International says that the project is valued between $700-800 million. It would include an approximately 400 room hotel, 200,000 square foot gaming floor with 2,500 to 3,000 slot machines and over 100 table games, and 25,000 square foot convention center would be built on the site of the Eastern States Exposition.
The project is expected to create about 3,500 full-time jobs and more than 2,000 construction jobs according to Jill Chandler, spokesperson for Hard Rock. The casino company is also looking to hire local residents first.
There would be an indoor live concert venue, and the current outside concert area at the Big E would be renovated and updated as part of the project.
Parking would be addressed through a multi-story parking facility.
Some of the highlights of monetary benefits for West Springfield include the following:
-more than $26 million in annual payments to the greater community, including the region
-$40 million in upfront investments in traffic, police, and fire
-major job creation and a commitment to hiring local people in West Springfield first, then surrounding applicants from surrounding towns
-payments to six surrounding communities on a rotating year to year basis