State Auditor Finds Issues With MassMutual Center's Management, Oversight

Feb 17, 2021

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority needs to do a better job overseeing MGM Springfield's management of the MassMutual Center. That's according to a report from the state auditor's office.

MGM Springfield is under contract to run the Mass Mutual Center. The audit found issues with billing and other records related to use of the arena that the convention center authority did not detect.

The report also says the agency wasn't receiving building maintenance information from MGM — or documenting the company's performance before extending its contract.

"This is about public trust," said Mike Wessler, a spokesman for state Auditor Suzanne Bump. "And having clear and accurate records of what's going on there is going to make sure not only you run the facility properly, but it's also going to make sure the public has confidence in the operations of that facility."

Bump said in a press release:

It may make sense for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority to enter into a contract with a company, like MGM Springfield, that has expertise in the day-to-day operations of the MassMutual Center. However, without adequate oversight of the contractor’s performance, any potential savings from this arrangement can be easily squandered by improper billing or poor facility maintenance. 

The Authority must take steps to ensure it can hold MGM Springfield accountable for effective management and operation of the facility.

The auditor recommends the convention center authority should provide better monitoring of MGM Springfield's billing and settlement practices, ensure they are receiving maintenence records on a regular basis and should "establish key performance indicators in its contract for the operation" of the MassMutual Center. 

A spokeswoman for MGM Springfield said in a statement they've addressed the findings with the convention center authority since the audit's timeframe, which was 2017-2019.