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Shuckers to pay for new MGM Park videoboard

Biloxi Shuckers logoFaced with a serious budget crunch on MGM Park construction, the Biloxi Shuckers (Class AA; Southern League) will step up and pay for a new $1.7 million scoreboard.

The issue is simple: cost overruns caused problems in adhering to a firm $36 million budget for the new ballpark. Rather than face off with the city, the Shuckers will pay for the videoboard — and upsize the buy as well. From WLOX 13:

“What we did was kind of went back in and put a pencil to paper and kind of figured out a way we could pay for the main scoreboard, the video board, the one estimated at $1.7 million, at no expense to the city,” said Tim Bennett.

The only part the city will have to cover is the installation of the boards, which is estimated to cost $500,000. But Bennett also announced the team will be giving the city the first $100,000 made off of advertising, every season.

“We’ll use player profiles on half of the board and advertising on the other half. That generates revenue. Revenue that typically would come to the team or Overtime Sports. We’re going to take that revenue and give it to the city to help with debt service,” said Bennett.

It’s been an interesting development process behind the new ballpark. MGM Park is currently slated to open with an April 20-24 series, as the team will begin the 2015 season on the road. And while it looks like an April opening is certainly possible, the team ownership has not yet decided on a specific date.

The Shuckers are the relocating Huntsville Stars. Miles Prentice sold majority interest in the team to Ken Young (owner of several other MiLB teams, including the Albuquerque Isotopes) and other investors earlier this year.

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