The Biloxi Shuckers (Class AA; Southern League) will potentially lose another 25 home game and have the opening of MGM Park moved back to Aug. 6 after city officials refused to spend $380,000 to have the ballpark ready for play on June 6.
The Shuckers had been working under the assumption the ballpark would be ready for a temporary certificate of occupancy next week, but Yates Construction informed city leaders that an additional $380,000 would be needed to make that happen. Biloxi officials balked at the additional payment, leaving the team to play additional games on the road before an opening. Yates Construction officials say they are still working toward an Aug. 4 opening (the date specified in the construction contract, which would put the team on the road for 25 more days (or back to Huntsville) between now and then. From the Biloxi Sun Herald:
“I toured the stadium and met with representatives of Yates Construction to get an update,” said Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich. “I was told it would cost $380,000 extra to open June 6, provided the stadium could qualify for a temporary certificate of occupancy.
“My decision was an easy one,” Gilich said. “I support the stadium and the Biloxi Shuckers, and I’m eager to see the first home game. But I certainly won’t ask the taxpayers to invest that much more into the project, especially with no assurances that the stadium would be ready in nine days.”
“I’m disappointed,” said Shuckers co-owner Ken Young. “We will certainly try to get open as quickly as possible.”
The city is on the hook to pay Young and the other Shuckers owners $10,000 per missed game, up to $250,000.
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Image of MGM Park via construction webcam.