Coliseum Director Provides Reason For Expansion - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/20/04

Coliseum Director Provides Reason For Expansion

"It's in legislature's hands now. The board of supervisors have spoken, 5 to 0, and we've had a lot of endorsements from a lot of associations, and now we're asking hey, it's time to move now," said Mississippi Coast Coliseum director Bill Holmes.

Holmes wants to expand this coast facility, and he believes Saturday afternoon is a good example of why.

An estimated 3000 people helped to kick off The Coast's Biggest Yard Sale Saturday morning with about 100 vendors selling clothes, jewelry and furniture, for all of the bargain hunters out there looking for nothing more than a good bargain.

But that wasn't the only action.

"We have the Holmeyer Tool show going on. We have thousands of people back there. We have the Hair Fest that's moving in now. We have over 200 vendors. They're anticipating somewhere around 4000 hairdressers coming in. So on top of all that, tonight, Kenny Chesney sold out. We're doing 11,000 people tonight.We've got to have more space," said Holmes.

"What we're looking at is hopefully to add two hundred thousand square feet to the convention center. We'd be able to develop the 16 and a half acres of property across the way that would give us another 2000 parking spaces. And then also renovation money that would not only renovate the existing convention center but also the coliseum. All brand new seats, brand new restrooms, total outside remake, and bring her back to the jewel she was 27 years ago," said Holmes.

He says if the legislature were to approve the expansion in this session, construction on the new and improved coliseum and convention center could begin as early as December or January.

Holmes says once construction begins, the project could be completed within the next two and a half years.

By Karla Redditte

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