The Biloxi City Council approved a $1 million fund for a new Class AA Southern League ballpark, to be used until a team is purchased for a move, at which point bonds can be sold.
The ballpark deal between minor-league operator Ken Young and the city calls for Young to close on the purchase of a team, which would then trigger construction of a new ballpark, presumably for 2015. But with city officials saying no team has been purchased, Biloxi officials face the prospect of spending money on ballpark prep without having bonded funds in place. The $36-million project calls for $21 million from the proceeds of a bond sale and $15 million from the state. From the Biloxi Sun:
“The team has not been purchased yet,” said David Nichols, city administrator. “No expenditures will be made until a team is purchased.
“Bonds will not be sold until a team is purchased and all the documents are signed,” he said….
Councilman Robert Deming III said the city has to be ready for the opening of the baseball season in 2015 and faces penalties if the deadline isn’t met.
Work proceeds on the project, however: The Biloxi Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the new ballpark that calls for the removal of 18 protected trees on the 13-acre property.
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