There won't be the typical hockey game on Friday at the MassMutal Center, or even a concert or the occasional basketball game. Friday night the MassMutual Center will become a full-blown political venue, hosting a rally for Democratic Candidate for President and Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders.
The rally will be held just days before the Tuesday, March 3 primary election, as Massachusetts is one of 15 states to be part of "Super Tuesday". Having a leading candidate like Bernie Sanders in Springfield will be an opportunity for the region to have national media attention, as well as showcasing the the MassMutual Center and the opportunities it provides as a large entertainment venue.
Friday night's crowd will undoubtedly draw thousands of combined spectators and media members, providing the area with economic impact to restaurants, hotels and retail, including MGM Springfield just across Main Street. It is events like these that make the MassMutual Center an important part of the regional economy in Western Massachusetts, and a reminder of why we need more events to draw in visitors who will continue to boost the local economy.
With a large nationwide following, and as a Senator from nearby Vermont, the possibility of the rally being sold out is high. No announcement from officials regarding the seating has been made yet, most likely due to reasons of security.
Having nationally-known and internally-followed figures such as Bernie Sanders holding rallies in Western Mass. is great for the region, and beneficial for the economy. Single events like this, however, will only have a limited impact, and more events, including concerts and sports, will be crucial to maximizing the economic growth of the region into
Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Zach also writes SportsBusinessBoston.com.