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Biloxi scraps ballpark construction plan; seeks new project manager

Southern LeagueWith the clock ticking, Biloxi officials have severed a contract with Yates Construction and are seeking a new project manager for a new Southern League ballpark, due to open in 2015.

The issue: instead of bidding out the ballpark construction bit by bit — a process allowing the ballpark to be designed on the fly, an approach made necessary because of the late sale of the club and the announcement that the Huntsville Stars (Class AA; Southern League) would indeed be signing a lease toward a Biloxi move — the city decided to award everything in a single contract. The original approach prove to be too confining, according to city officials:

“Nobody was willing to commit to the amount of money to have the specifications drawn until we had a contract with the team,” Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols said.

However, under the segmented construction approach, bids had to be rejected for at least two phases because they were too high. Each bid consumes at least 30 days for advertising.

Now, the city will bid the entire project, hopefully in the next two weeks, Creel said, and hire one contractor to do the work.

The ballpark is set to open in 2015. The Stars’ contract with Biloxi calls for a penalty of $10,000 per missed game in April due to ballpark construction, up to $70,000, but there’s no limit on penalties in May and beyond.

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