One casino developer vying for a license in Springfield wants to expand beyond gaming.
MGM met with the Park Commission Wednesday afternoon to talk about potential development in some city-owned parks.
The park commission voted in favor of allowing MGM to apply to purchase Leonardo Da Vinci Park in the South End and also to revitalize Riverfront Park.
"I think if we can add a few components to it we can make it something people will walk to every day," said Chuck Irving of Davenport Properties.
"I think this is a tremendous opportunity here in the city," said Park Commissioner Chairman Brian Santaniello.
MGM has plans to transform the park into a movie theater. But under state law, they have to be able to relocate the park.
Some South End residents want to make sure that their kids will still have a place to play.
"I have a 6-year-old stepdaughter and we go to Da Vinci Park all the time...I just want to make sure it's relocated," said Steve Shultis.
MGM has optioned two parcels of land behind Milano's on Main Street where they could potentially relocate the park.
Officials with the casino developer say only 38 percent of their revenue comes from gaming, and investments in other community entertainment are key.
"We're going to put all of those programs into these city-owned and state-owned facilities," Irving said.
MGM also wants to partner with the two city-run golf courses. There are still many steps to go before any of this is approved.
Penn National is also vying for a casino in the city's North End.
Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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