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Biloxi commits to borrowing $21 million for new ballpark — if plan emerges

Southern LeagueThe Biloxi City Council moved ahead with a plan to borrow $21 million toward the cost of a new ballpark, but the wheels are far from turning on any actual construction.

The city council put what’s normally at the end of the process at the beginning, deciding to set up a funding plan now and then working out the parameters of any deal later. Technically, today’s 5-2 vote was an affirmation that the city intends to borrow the money should a workable plan for a new ballpark emerge after public meetings and negotiations with potential team owners. The $21 million would merely be one part of the funding plan; the state would be asked for assistance as well.

From the Mississippi Press:

We haven’t spent a dime with what we voted for today,” Councilman Clark Griffith said. “There’s a process that you have to go through, and you have to first show the intent to borrow the money.”

Griffith said the resolution was passed to set an obtainable timeline in motion.

“We need to build it in a timely manner to make it profitable, so we needed to go on and do this,” he said. “You don’t decide to build a football stadium and then have it set to open in January.”

In the past the talk was of a Class AA team for the city, most recently a year ago when Tim Bennett was working to bring in a Southern League franchise.

RELATED STORIES: Another run at affiliated ball in Biloxi; Talk about Biloxi ballpark emerges again


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