The most interesting part of MGM's plan for a casino in downtown Springfield just may be their plan for an indoor entertainment venue. There will not be one.
MGM Grand at Foxwoods has the MGM Grand Theatre, approximately a 4,000 seat venue that routinely attracts top concert tours. Plans for Springfield leave out a theater or arena entirely, as any events can come to the MassMutual Center and Symphony Hall just a few blocks down Main Street from the proposed casino site.
The MassMutual Center would likely see an increased number of events, and would be the only option for sports or large concerts, as MGM plans to only have an outdoor stage setup for free concerts.
The question is, will MGM Springfield actually have a sports and entertainment effect, similar to the amount of events that have been appearing at MGM Grand at Foxwoods? One thing Springfield does not have, is the marketability to Boston and New York which Foxwoods will always have. And the even bigger, more important question, is will this casino even happen at all?
Zach Baru also blogs for Sports Business Boston. He can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.