This is quite the endorsement: Charles Johnson IV of Johnson Consulting calls a proposed Biloxi ballpark a sure winner, with average baseball attendance and above-average event attendance.
The recipient of a $25,000 contract from the city, Johnson pegs the ballpark’s economic impact at $34 million annually (with the average game/event attendee spending $70 during each visit), with existing businesses the recipient of the spending. That’s exactly the sort of analysis ballpark proponents wanted to hear. From the Biloxi Sun-Herald:
Asked to rate the site on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, Johnson said he gives it “a 9 or 10.”
He compared the potential attendance with that of other teams in the Southern League and said, “You are far and away the leader from a tourism perspective.” He expects average attendance for baseball, but better than average for festivals and concerts….
Tim Bennett with Overtime Sports said he has worked for nine years to bring a minor league team to South Mississippi and the independent study confirmed what he has said — “that minor league baseball is everything I thought it could be for Biloxi.” He said wherever a stadium is built, traffic will be an issue.
Funds for the ballpark have already been allocated: the city has initiated the sale of bonds and the state has announced a grant. However, a team still needs to be procured; Ken Young, the owner of several other Minor League Baseball teams (Norfolk, Albuquerque, Bowie, Frederick), has been negotiating to bring a Class AA Southern League team to the new ballpark in 2015.
Rendering courtesy of Dale Associates Architects.
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