Some industry experts wondered if MGM Springfield would ever open again. Personally, I thought the future looked dim, at least under the MGM brand. However, MGM Springfield Opens to Delight and Concern for a good showing of Platinum and Noir Rewards players. Many Springfield players and residents love their MGM Springfield and couldn’t wait any longer. The property will be open to the public on Monday, July 13th.
MGM Springfield Opens to Delight and Concern – What To Expect
Massachusetts is following other New England casino protocols, such as mandatory mask coverings. For MGM’s Seven-Point Safety Plan, click here.
MGM Springfield’s hotel and spa will remain closed until a future date. But beverage service on the casino floor is a bigger concern among gamblers. To promote keeping masks on, guests cannot move around the casino floor with a drink. Only those actively playing will have beverage service.
Governor Baker’s Addition
The Governor’s guidelines for the Phase 3 opening sends a warning to travelers from states spiking from COVID-19 in record numbers. Governor Baker expects visitors traveling from states other than New England, New York, and New jersey to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Food and Gambling Options
More food options are open, but check times available. Chandler Steakhouse, Top Golf, and Costa is closed (the Costa pizza counter in open)
Poker, roulette, and craps will not be available in this first phase of reopening. Novelty table games, such as 4 card poker, are not in use at this time. For MGM’s Seven-Point Safety Plan, click here.
MGM Springfield Opens to Delight and Concern
Lower Guest Capacity, Smaller Staff
Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported MGM Springfield had 2,004 active employees as of Dec. 31 (1,479 full-time employees and 525 part-time workers). For reopening, a smaller staff will operate at a third of its staffing, roughly around 600 employees.
Financial Revenue Spiral
MGM Springfield reported gross gambling revenue of just $18.9 million for December 2019 — the lowest full-month revenue figure in the casino’s 16-month history. In February’s report, the slot revenue was half of the smaller slot parlor Plainridge Park.
Competition, Loyalty, and Competitive Advantage
The two Connecticut tribal casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have been the biggest competition in the New England market for 20-plus years. Consequently, MGM Springfield admitted they under-estimated that level of loyalty to Connecticut casinos. Both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun reopened June 1st, giving them a critical advantage.
When MGM opened in Springfield, it was too small, to begin with. And now, occupancy at the casino is limited to a quarter of its regular capacity. If it wasn’t small enough before, MGM Springfield’s total occupancy will go from 7,400 to as low as 1,870.
The industry group US Travel predicts domestic travel spending will be off by 40% in 2020. “It’s the biggest challenge our industry has ever faced,” said Seth Stratton, MGM’s vice president, and general counsel.
Related Post – MGM Springfield Is Not A Resort
A Different Approach to Opening
We all agree that the capacity will be too small to make any profits. MGM Springfield needs more space and gaming. Access to the MassMutualCenter for conferences and small conventions could present free space to build a casino extension upstairs. (Please note, this idea was first published at TravelZork with my report Should MGM Springfield Even Bother (re)Opening? published on June 20th, 2020)
I proposed that the second floor be used, which consists of 34,000 square feet. By keeping the largest multi-room, the 10,600-square-foot Aria Ballroom, the other areas could give at least another 15,000 sq. ft. for high limit or table games. The 2nd-floor casino would take over the “Terrace” area, which overlooks Armory Square, the city’s iconic 19th-century U.S. National Guard Armory.
Related Post – MGM Springfield Continues Improvements – But More is Needed
MGM Looking for Possible Renegotiation With Springfield
MGM is reopening negotiations concerning the host community agreement. In fact, MGM wants to reduce, or at least delay payments it’s obligated to make. Mayor Sarno is holding off on talks. The mindset is, “if it’s underperforming during regular times, how will it bounce back during these more difficult times?
MGM is giving Springfield a chance to open and should do so without re-negotiating. If they can’t make a difference with this casino, sell it to someone who can. It is time MGM International puts its money where its intentions were when getting the license.