Suffolk Downs Reaches Casino Agreement With City of Boston

by | 08.28.2013 | 9:48am
New rendering of The Resort at Suffolk Downs

Suffolk Downs and Caesars Entertainment have reached a historic host community agreement with the City of Boston, a critical step in the pursuit of a license to develop a world-class casino resort at the site of the East Boston thoroughbred racetrack. The agreements provide the city with significant employment opportunities for local residents, infrastructure improvements and other economic and community benefits. The developers are finalizing the details of an agreement with Revere and expect to announce those details within days.

The agreement with Boston, announced today by Mayor Thomas Menino, is the result of a comprehensive and detailed review of impacts and benefits, informed by months of public input and more than 100 public meetings and forums attended by thousands of local residents.

“We are proud of the strong partnership we have built with Boston as well as our neighboring communities,” said Joe O'Donnell, principal owner of Suffolk Downs. “Our proposed development will directly benefit Boston with annual payments as well as up-front investments in schools, parks, vital services and transportation improvements. We believe our proposed project has the best location and will create the most local jobs and provide the greatest growth in tourism, hospitality and conventions and meetings in the Commonwealth.”

“We want to thank Mayor Menino and his team for their efforts in negotiating the most comprehensive and far-reaching host community agreement of its kind,” said Richard Fields, principal owner of Suffolk Downs. “We are also extremely appreciative of the efforts of Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo and his team, and look forward to finalizing an agreement there in short order.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity to develop a resort that befits Boston and complements the vibrant array of cultural, historic and entertainment offerings that exist here,” said Gary Loveman, chairman, president and CEO of Caesars. “Boston is ideally suited for our city-integrated resort model, which is designed to reflect the distinct attributes of the host communities and drive maximum economic impact to residents and businesses. Our proposal is intended to drive tourism to the region and introduce our guests to all the Greater Boston area has to offer.”

The proposed billion-dollar development is expected to be the most sustainably designed and built resort casino in the world. It will feature world-class amenities, including hotel, dining, spa, entertainment space and live thoroughbred racing in addition to gaming space and a World Series of Poker™ room.

As part of its agreement with Boston, the developers have made upfront and ongoing financial commitments to each community. These commitments include combined, estimated annual payments of $52 million to Boston once the resort is fully operational. The amount of the payments is determined in part by the resort's performance and includes anticipated impact fees as well as tax payments. In addition to the annual payments, the agreements include more than $33 million in one-time community investments, including capital commitments related to education, parks, public health, arts, public safety and more than $45 million in transportation and infrastructure improvements.

The payments include annual community impact fees that will cover the increased cost of providing municipal services. These fees total approximately $20 million a year to East Boston.

“We are proud of the role that Suffolk Downs has played as a neighbor in East Boston for the past 78 years and believe these agreements and our development plans lay the groundwork for a future rich with opportunity for the community,” said Chip Tuttle, Chief Operating Officer of Suffolk Downs. “Local residents have played an integral role in our process to date by providing valuable feedback at numerous community meetings, and we look forward to continued engagement as we continue through this process.”

Among the specific benefits to the community detailed in the agreements are:

The creation of 2,500 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent jobs, with a preference given to local residents; $45 million in transportation and roadway improvements in East Boston and Revere; Annual spending with regional and local vendors to procure the goods and services; Capital investment in East Boston, including a new Business Improvement District, the construction of a new youth and senior center, and investment in local parks and schools.

  • Richard C

    It’s interesting to follow media reports on the explosion of racinos
    nationwide — after all the hype….the news typically degenerates into
    the transient nature of most jobs, how racing (which opened the door for
    these joints) ultimately becomes a drag on profits and the target
    figures going into the state and local coffers are solid fiction. That
    is one losing trifecta…no matter the rosy odds while going to post.

    • Sal Carcia

      The NYRA has received $54 million in six months from the slots at Aqueduct. There is no disappointment there. I suspect the same will be true for racing in Mass. But, it won’t be anywhere close to NY.

      • Ned Daly

        Been to Aqueduct lately? Not a dime had been spent to date when I was there for the Wood Memorial. If the Suffolk deal happens (BIG if), it might be different, since NYRA does not own the casino and the Suffolk racetrack/casino wil be one entity. Might be more like Gulfstream with racing as a sideshow.

        • Sal Carcia

          Ned, if the NYRA gets $100 million this year and subsequent years, there will be no excuse for the NYRA to not fix Aqueduct. Capital improvement projects in NY have been on hold for over a year due to the management transition. There was not much money available before that. $100 million a year should do the trick.

          We have an unusual situation here in Massachusetts. Racing will not be supported by revenues for the destination casinos. So if Suffolk Downs gets a casino license, Suffolk Downs the racetrack will get little subsidies from the casino business. Part of Suffolk will be used for casino purposes. Slots subsidies for racing will come from the slots palor or barn. Rayhnam (ex) Dog Track is the leading candidate for the slots barn. Suffolk will get subsidies, but nothing like from Genting.

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