SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – If you’re planning on visiting downtown Springfield this weekend, you might want to make sure you get there early. The MassMutual Center will be hosting several big events and the city is already anticipating the crowds.
A 3-day ESPN billiard tournament, the Springfield Armor Home Opener and second game of the season, the Holiday Showcase basketball game featuring the UMass Minutemen, plus the Springfield Falcons game against their rival the Hartford Wolf Pack are all on the docket.
One thing is for sure: it’s going to be an exciting weekend in Springfield, and that’s just how the MassMutual Center likes it.
“Our goal is actually to have as many of these weekends as we can where we’ve got multiple events going on in both sides of the building,” says Matt Hollander, the MassMutual Center’s General Manager.
But it takes a lot of coordination to make sure it all goes smoothly.
“There’s a lot of communication in between departments to ensure that this activity happens and happens safely because the most important thing is we want to make sure our guests and our staff have a safe experience while in the building,” explained Hollander.
With about 10,000 people expected at the weekend’s events, the MassMutual Center isn’t the only place getting ready for the crowds.
Nadim Kashouh, owner of Nadim’s Downtown, is excited for the weekend.
“This is awesome. This is great news and this is what the downtown always looks for and needs is the mass amount of people that’s going to come here,” Kashouh said.
Nadim’s will be ordering extra food and alcohol, but they will also be adding additional staff and even offering more options to those attending the events.
“We aren’t normally open on Saturday for lunch, but for this weekend we definitely got to be open for Saturday and we’re looking forward to it,” Kashouh told us.
While parking may be at a premium, the busy weekend is a good thing for businesses across Springfield’s downtown.
“The streets are going to be very busy, lots of families coming in and taking advantage of local shops local restaurants. We know that they’re going to have a great weekend, we want them to,” said Hollander.
If you’re looking to go out to eat at Nadim’s or another restaurant downtown this weekend, it’s recommended that you call ahead and make a reservation.