After conferring with Chief of Staff Tom Ashe; Chris Cignoli, Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW); Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood, Deputy Chief William Cochrane, Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi, Chief Development Officer (CDO) Tim Sheehan, and Bokul Bhuiya, Director of the Springfield Parking Authority (SPA); and after hearing from and meeting with key stakeholders including, Sean Dolan, General Manager for the Mass Mutual Center; Paul Picknelly, local ownership and managing partner for the Springfield Thunderbirds; Nate Costa, President of the Springfield Thunderbirds; and MGM Springfield President and COO Chris Kelley and team; the Springfield Police Department will be enhancing their Metro Unit traffic details during major events in downtown Springfield, especially during Springfield Thunderbird games.
Additional information on enhanced traffic details for downtown events will be announced at a press conference scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2022 at City Hall.
Mayor Sarno states, “With the demolition of the old Civic Center garage underway, the loss of parking by our MassMutual Center is being felt, especially during sold out games of our beloved Springfield Thunderbirds. Until the new state-of-the-art parking garage is built, I have coordinated with the Springfield Parking Authority, the Springfield Police Department and DPW to enhance our SPD Metro Unit traffic details at key traffic intersections downtown to help alleviate the traffic congestion for when games start and end. I want to thank MGM Springfield for their partnership and cooperation for opening their parking garage for use during our T-Bird games. This is a good problem to have, thousands and thousands of people coming into our downtown Springfield to cheer on our AHL Eastern Conference champions and dine at our many restaurant establishments. I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as our brave and dedicated Springfield Police Officers help direct vehicle traffic during these busy hours. This is a temporary inconvenience, one that will be remedy once the new modern parking garage facility is built.”
Paul Picknelly stated, “I want to thank Mayor Sarno and his city team for always being responsive to the needs and concerns of our businesses, especially our Springfield Thunderbirds. T-Birds President Nate Costa and I, after meeting with Mayor Sarno and city officials, are confident that these new enhanced traffic details will help ease traffic congestion at peak hours during sold out games at the MassMutual Center and other busy events in our downtown Springfield. We are optimistic that additional measures for parking and traffic, which will be announced at a later date, will help solve this issue that was caused by the demolition of the old Civic Center garage. The new multi-use parking garage facility that is being built will be a game changer once it is completed.”
“We are thrilled to see the continued renaissance of the City of Springfield with so many people coming to enjoy all of the events and amenities our downtown has to offer,” said MGM Springfield President Chris Kelley. “MGM Springfield fully supports the City’s efforts and creative initiatives to ensure guests have the best experience possible.”
Sean Dolan, General Manager for MassMutual Center said, “On behalf of the MassMutual Center, we’re excited to see the continued growth and economic impact being generated in Downtown Springfield and Western Massachusetts. There has been great collaboration between the City of Springfield, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Springfield Thunderbirds, and MGM Springfield as we all continue working together to deliver a great guest experience to our customers and clients.”
The new $40 million mixed use and parking garage facility is scheduled to open late 2023 or 2024. Once built, the new state-of-the-art facility will offer parking for up to 1,000 cars, and will have 10,000 sq ft of restaurant and retail space. The site is owned by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.