The 75-year-old Boston thoroughbred racetrack unveiled preliminary development plans for a resort-style casino and entertainment complex. To proceed further, the state of Massachusetts needs to approve expanded gambling in the Commonwealth.
The project, headed by Suffolk Downs owner Richard Fields, would include a renovated grandstand with as many as 5,000 slot machines, 200 table games, restaurants and shops, The Boston Globe reports. It would later expand to a 400- to 600-room hotel, spa and fitness facility.The project could create an estimated 1,500-2,000 construction jobs and 2,250 permanent jobs after the project’s completion, in addition to keeping the 1,500 jobs that already exist.
“I think it will bring people into the city. It will create more jobs,” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told the Globe. “We need a full destination resort.”
Investors are prepared to invest at least $600 million as part of the requirement to be considered for one of the few gambling licenses being shopped by the state. According to the Globe, the Suffolk Downs project has the best chance to secure one.
“Suffolk Downs has been a responsible neighbor for generations,” said Chip Tuttle, Suffolk Downs’ chief operating officer. “We are committed to a comprehensive, transparent public process that will address key community issues like traffic, infrastructure and public safety.”
The proposed plan still faces some challenges, but Suffolk Downs is confident a deal will get done.