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Consultant: Biloxi ballpark site would be a winner

Caillavet Park, Biloxi

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.

RELATED STORIES: Biloxi: Let’s slow down new-ballpark plan; New Biloxi ballpark could slip to 2015; Biloxi petition drive falls short; council to study bond rates; Proposed Biloxi ballpark draws opposition; rally set for today; Biloxi group wants referendum on new ballpark; Bennett, Young, Bryant unveil plans for new Biloxi ballpark; Bennett: We can open Biloxi ballpark in 2014; Biloxi commits to borrowing $21 million for new ballpark; Another run at affiliated ball in Biloxi; Talk about Biloxi ballpark emerges again


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