- Office of the State Auditor
Media Contact for Audit Warns of Inadequate Oversight of MGM Springfield’s Management of the MassMutual Center
Boston — In an audit released today, State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump warns that the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has not provided adequate oversight of MGM Springfield’s management of the MassMutual Center (MMC). The audit examined the period of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019.
The audit found deficiencies in MGM Springfield’s billing and settlement records relative to the use of the facility that went undetected by MCCA. These undetected deficiencies included missing or incomplete invoice approval forms, insufficient insurance, late client payments, as well as discrepancies in billable hours for third-party vendors, among others. The audit also shows that the Authority did not receive required facility maintenance information from MGM Springfield or document its performance before extending its contract.
Finally, the report notes that the Authority’s contract with MGM Springfield lacks key performance metrics that can be used to determine if established management expectations were achieved.
“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,” Bump said. “The Authority must take steps to ensure it can hold MGM Springfield accountable for effective management and operation of the facility.”
To address these issues, Bump recommends that the MCCA improve monitoring of settlement and billing practices, ensure MGM provides it with contractually required maintenance reports, document its assessment of contractor performance, and establish specific key performance indicators in its contract for the operation of the MMC.
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority is an independent public authority of the Commonwealth that owns and operates several public facilities primarily for conventions, tradeshows, and industry meetings. It is governed by a 13-member board of directors. During the audit period, it was responsible for the operations of the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, the Boston Common Parking Garage, the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, and the MassMutual Center. The MassMutual Center, located in Springfield, contains 100,000 square feet of space, including a ballroom, five meeting rooms, a 40,000-square-foot exhibit space, and an 8,000-seat arena.