Bradley International Airport was considered a prime site for a new casino in the state of Connecticut, but will no longer be considered. The Connecticut Airport Authority has withdrawn the site for consideration but not letting go of efforts to install gaming options at the Bradley airport.
The Executive Director of the Authority, Kevin Dillon, spoke with board members of the Connecticut Airport Authority on Wednesday stating that the location has been taken out of contention. The location in question is a transportation center that will be located at the entrance of the airport and cost $225 million to construct. According to Dillon, the planning phase for the potential casino is taking too long. The tribes who operate the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are the ones working on plans and the airport can no longer wait to move forward with plans for the transportation center.
The Authority no longer has the option to wait to begin the design phase of the transportation center, which will be a center area for mass transit vehicles as well as rental cars. The plan is to have construction start in 2018, which is already off schedule from the groundbreaking in 2017 that the Authority was hoping to have taken place.
Dillion stated that unfortunately due to the delay incurred for moving the project forward and gaining legislative approval, the casino venture is not meeting up with the time frame for the new transportation center. Dillion commented that that design of the transportation center is to begin now and without knowing which way to go, it will be difficult to begin the design process.
MMCT is a joint venture created by the Mohegans and the Mashantucket Pequots to try and create a third casino in Hartford. On Wednesday, the tribe released a joint statement in regards to the Airport Authority’s decision, stating they are encouraged with the fact that the group would still like to see a casino located at the airport.
Spokesman of the statement, Andrew Doba, revealed that that MMCT is pleased that the CAA wants to continue the ‘critically important’ conversation by suggesting other locations for a casino on the property. Thousands of jobs are on the line and the authority’s willingness to continue the discussion as an optimal site is determined for the third casino in Connecticut is an asset to the selection process.
Once the meeting with the CAA was over, the Hartford Courant reports that Dillon stated that the transportation center was an appealing location for a new casino due to the structure that was to be built. There are other locations onsite that could work as a casino venue including the demolished Murphy Terminal. An ‘interim’ option is also being considered, where a venue would be created to house gaming options until a permanent venue could be created.