MGM Resorts International is looking to operate a state-owned convention center and arena near its planned $950 million casino in downtown Springfield.

On Thursday, the Las Vegas-based company announced it will join the bidding for the contract to operate the MassMutual Center for five years. MGM’s proposal is for the operation to be jointly run by Spectra, the current operator, and MGM. The former would provide food and beverage services while MGM would take on the venue’s management.

If MGM’s bid is successful, a six-month transition phase would be required for the partnership that could be established as soon as July 1, according to MGM. Michael Mathis, President of MGM Springfield, says they would bring “high quality entertainment” acts in and re-invest in the state Convention Center Authority owned, former Springfield Civic Center, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier this month, preparation work for the planned relocation of the First Spiritualist Church by MGM began. The historic church is being moved from its current location on Bliss Street to a new site, two blocks to the south, on Union Street, also within the casino footprint.

According to the company, the Springfield hotel and entertainment complex, spanning 3 million square feet, is expected to generate 4,000 jobs and 10 million total work hours. Massachusetts‘ MGM Springfield is anticipated to open in September of 2018.

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