Casino supporters, protestors make final push in W. Springfield - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Casino supporters, protestors make final push in W. Springfield

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Tuesday morning, the polls will open in with one question on the ballot.

Will residents say yes or no to Hard Rock's proposed casino resort on the Big E campus?

Sunday evening, Hard Rock and its supporters gathered at their headquarters to game-plan for their stretch run.

In the past week, the company has had to deal with residents in neighboring towns, Agawam and Longmeadow, each saying they do not want the $800 million project built.

Hard Rock's chairman, Jim Allen, told CBS 3 that they first need to focus on Tuesday's vote.

"Assuming we are favorable and positive on Tuesday, then clearly we'll be reaching out," said Allen. "In our host agreement, we've done something that the other applicants haven't. We've really put some money aside in good faith, to be able to sit down and make sure that we address any of their concerns and impacts."

Between now and Tuesday, Allen said Hard Rock will continue to reach out to residents and provide them with the facts about their project.

While casino supporters met to strategize Sunday night, so did residents who are against the proposal.

No Casino West Springfield held a speaker forum at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church.

Several speakers were on hand, including former U.S. Rep. Robert Steele, an author who has studied the impacts of a casino in Connecticut.

Steele had one message to say to West Springfield residents - get out there and vote.

"We in Connecticut never had a chance to vote on whether we wanted casinos or not," said Steele.  "The ability in Massachusetts for local proposed host communities to vote is a precious right and opportunity. I hope the people of West Springfield will all get out and exercise that opportunity."

Should voters say yes to the agreement between Hard Rock and the city, they would be the second Western Massachusetts community to do so.

Springfield voters approved a deal with MGM back in July.

Palmer residents will go to the polls to vote on their deal with Mohegan Sun on Nov. 5.

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