On this episode will talk about the first blackjack tournament and if we’ll ever see the All Tall Small bonus bet on craps again. We will review the November gaming revenue numbers. This plus the competition for the management contract of Springfield Symphony Hall and all the rumors about venues in Springfield.
The first blackjack tournament was held Monday, December 10 and Monday, December 17 with about 100 people in attendance. Governor Charlie Baker was seen playing next to John O’Brien from rock 102. Perhaps the reason for Governor Baker’s appearance was to solidify the legality of gambling tournament at MGM Springfield. You may remember that the original start date of December 3 was canceled due to not having the correct paperwork filled with Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
The All Tall and Small bonus Bets have not returned to the craps tables at MGM Springfield. Several reports as of Saturday night that the bonuses were not being taken. After members in the closed group Michael and Mark pointed us to the Mass Gaming Commission‘s regulation on table craps play in the Baystate we learned that the wagers are perfectly legal. In fact section 13 addresses the bonus craps wager and it’s entirety. The casino can choose one of two pay tables. All small either 34 or 30 to 1. All tall the same. Make them all 175 or 150 to 1. These seem like sought after and fun bets and I hope that they return soon. MGM is also running a Fill your sleigh with free play from December 2-29. Mlife members can swipe their card at the promotion kiosks and pick a Snowflake for a chance of entries. Speaking of promotions there has been some reports of trouble for the winning Wednesday tier multiplier. More than one member reported not receiving the promised awarded points for their play during that day. One member Judy had to get her points loaded by the M life supervisor. Let’s hope that this does not become a trend and it is completely corrected soon.
November gaming numbers are in and MGM Springfield took in $21.2 million in total gaming revenue for the month. That number is down $1 million from October.
Slots generated $13,371,904.09 and
Table games $7,876,010. MGM is a category 1 casino with 25% of gross gaming revenue being paid back to the state in the form of tax. This month’s contribution total was $5,311,978.52. In comparison the other gambling establishment in the Commonwealth Plain Ridge Park a category 2 slot facility pays 49% of their gaming revenue back to the state. Their November numbers were $12,852,262.82 all in slots. With the $6,297,608.78 going back to Massachusetts taxpayers. Total tax profits from both properties $11.6 million. Total tax take since casino inception $297 million.
Michael Mathis was quoted in being pleased with the outcome being the holiday season. It will be interesting to see what the December revenue numbers come in at. Something that I’ve talked with you about before is the projected numbers by MGM for this project. It was stated that once market stabilization occurred after the first 18 to 24 months of being open they projected a $500 million annual profit. Right now these numbers are falling well short of 50% of that projection and this is in the first six months of operation. Also keeping in mind that the Wynn Encore in Boston is currently not open.
In my opinion that will definitely affect MGM’s gaming revenue numbers. So where is the other $260 million annually coming from? Is it realistic to think about a $20 million a month gaming revenue with the total annual take of $240 million? Just a quick thought if MGM did decide to sell off the Springfield property perhaps because it wasn’t hitting their projected $500 million. $250 million at 10 times earnings would net MGM a sizable profit for their $960 million investment. A move like this would make them a viable player for the Wynn Boston property acquisition. A move that I believe would please many shareholders. But I digress.
The big news of the month is that the contract to manage Springfield Symphony Hall is up as of December 31. The Springfield Performing Arts Development Corp. will no longer be in charge of the property along with the 479 seat Blake theater located at Citystage. Two companies are vying for the five-year contract that comes with two options of renewal.
- Blue Tarp development LLC doing business as MGM Springfield.
- Spectacle Management of Lexington.
Both groups submitted proposals for Monday’s deadline. Spectacle management has a history of successful venue operations. They currently manage the Lowell Memorial Auditorium and the Barnstable Performing Arts Center in Hyannis Massachusetts. Those along with similar theaters in Plymouth and Beverly MA. prove that Spectacle has a reputation of running successful performance venues. MGM is already managing the 8000 seat Mass Mutual Center. Under the companies’ host agreement with the Springfield they must provide 4 marquee events a year over the next eight years at the property. That same host agreement has MGM guaranteeing 3 events that they will underwrite and co-promote at Springfield Symphony Hall and City Stage.
The fate of the 479 seat Blake theater located at City Stage a building owned by the Springfield Parking Authority at 1 Columbus Center is undetermined. Director Tina D’ Augustino was quoted in the Springfield Republican with stating that after the sold out Van Morrison tribute show Moondance there would be no more shows. It seems to me like a terrific opportunity for MGM and city officials to join together along with the school department to create perhaps a performing arts school for the high schools. With the casino here there were always be and opportunity for those who are interested in the performing arts. Why not harbor a program that would entice city youth to explore the possibilities of what the arts could do for them. Because the property is owned by the Springfield Parking Authority this plays into the rumors I was talking about. You see MGM built that huge parking garage and currently gives away free parking to anyone. I can envision that in the future only Mlife card holders will receive free parking and then eventually elevated tier members will have free self park like other MGM properties. However for the time being many daily commuter’s and business folks are gladly taking advantage of the $30-$50 a month savings and parking for free and walking an extra block or two to work. This reportedly doesn’t sit well with the SPA. Does this have something behind the “structural issues with the building”? There seems to be rumored issues between the two entities. As someone who worked for years downtown I have absolutely no opinion on the SPA. Take that for what it’s worth. It will be interesting to see who is awarded this contract and when they reveal the confidential details. It creates an interesting position for MGM controlling pretty much 100% of live entertainment here in Springfield. They are the nations second largest producer of such events and I can envision quality shows coming to our neighborhood. On the other side of that coin if MGM doesn’t get what it wants that quality could be in jeopardy or at least held as a bargaining chip. What would it look like if MGM did not like its contract at how things were going?
Let’s take a look at MGM’s contract with the MassMutual Center as a comparison. As I stated they are on the hook for 4 big shows a year. They manage the building which means they are seeing the profits from concessions and portion of ticket sales. This property is not their building and they’ve only been able to work with what they have. One rumor I will report that isn’t really a rumor because it’s true is that the ceilings inside of the MassMutual Center are low in comparison to other newer venues. Today’s major shows require a clear span ceiling to run their extensive speaker, lighting and theatrical rigging. This could cause the elimination of Springfield as a stop at some of the nations largest sought after shows. This coupled with the fact that the building is not attached to MGM Springfield in any physical way could lead to mid contract discouragement by the operator. Springfield can be a cold place for five months a year and given the MassMutual Center‘s entrance on Bruce Landon Way it’s a long walk from the MGM doors. It’s been rumored that they want to build a skywalk from MGM to the MassMutual Center. That will be interesting considering there’s more than one building and more than one street in the way of that occurring. What if MGM underestimated the need for an on-site theater and wanted to gobble up some more south in real estate to make this happen? What if they were interested but no longer wanted to manage the MassMutual Center? What would that look like for us Springfield and surrounding Pioneer Valley residents?
Let’s take a look at venues both here in Springfield and the area as well as what MGM just built at their brand new MGM Park in Las Vegas.
8,318 full capacity
The MassMutual Center has a 10,000 square-foot convention center the largest in Western Massachusetts. It consists of two exhibition halls totaling 40,000 ft.² and three ball rooms equaling an additional 15,000 ft.² there is also 21,000 ft.² of beautiful glass fronted pre-function space overlooking the city. Along with a back of the house, kitchen, meeting rooms all of which are all connected to the sports arena.
The Mullen center in Amherst
10,500 total capacity
Mohegan Sun Arena.
10,000 total capacity
The Sun is to hot down there they don’t play hockey. Lol.
400 foot clear span.
Mohegan Sun Arena most modern concert venue awards from 2008 to 2010. Theater is attached to casino gaming floor.
XL Center Hartford
There is a current proposal to once again revamp this city center arena. I feel bad for Wolfpack fans.
MGM New Park Theater Las Vegas.
5200 to 6300 total capacity
A massive stage with huge clear span.
Back row seating is 145 feet from the stage.
This is what MGM wants. This is what the state of the art is. MGM resorts also successfully operates three of the largest venues in Vegas. T-Mobile, MGM Grand Garden and the Mandalay Bay Event Center.
So knowing what we have and what they would love to have isn’t an exact match. It will be very interesting to see how things proceed. Either way the pie get sliced MGM will provide at least 4 shows for the next eight years at the MassMutual Center and 3 for the next five years at Springfield Symphony Hall. With or without management contracts. I have experienced their management at the MassMutual Center as a season ticket holder for the Thunderbirds. It has not been a negative nor an overly positive experience they seem to run a good show. They have a good staff security is thorough. Sound and lighting has been great. So as a customer I don’t have any complaints. However I do have a suggestion that if MGM really is managing the MassMutual Center it should be considered a property under the M life program. It would be nice to earn on property points when purchasing concert tickets hockey tickets subscriptions etc. Also I think it would benefit to be able to use points to purchase tickets as well as earn. This seems like a natural cross promotion and easy way to make the experience better and accessible. Oh sorry here I go again.
So what are you think about MGM taking over Springfield Symphony Hall? Are you for it or against it? Please leave us a comet to tell us your thoughts or join the fun in our closed group on Facebook. Hey I even started an Instagram account. I barely like it but if you want give us a follow and the like maybe it will be better. Thanks to everyone who has supported our show and blog. Special thanks this week to Mark and Michael from the closed group at digging up the craps regulations from the Massachusetts gaming commission. I might take a break for the holiday but I’ll be back with the year wrap up soon. Until then happy holidays be safe and as always have Great Luck players!
P.S. come join me on video poker.com sign up through my special Art in the Game member link here http://www.videopoker.com/artinthegame and receive free 14 days as a gold member. Gold members get do use training mode and shows you the correct hands to hold and your percentage of correctly played hands. I love this tool and it has definitely helped me gain an advantage on my video poker play at the casino. I also play every day for the $25 cash prize there’s a $400 weekly prize there is also a $500 monthly. Once enough members from here are on I will issue a group challenge and have a side bet that will be able to be cashed in person down at MGM Springfield sometime with me.
Great Luck Players!