Downtown baseball stadium gets Biloxi's backing

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - For years, there has been talk about bringing minor league baseball to Biloxi.  Today, that talk took a step toward becoming a reality.

The Biloxi City Council voted 5-2 in favor of a resolution that expresses the council's intent to secure more than $20 million in bonds for the construction of an athletic stadium.  Councilmen George Lawrence and David Fayard voted against the plan.

During council debate on the measure, ward six councilman Ed Gemmill revealed the first significant details about how this bond would be used.  He said the intention would be to have a baseball stadium in the city.  According to Gemmill, baseball is the bedrock sport that brings people together across the country.  He argued a downtown baseball stadium would jump start businesses and tourism in the area.

Gemmill announced what several sources have already told WLOX News.  The baseball stadium proposal has the support of Governor Phil Bryant and many business owners in Biloxi.

Some council members emphasized the resolution passed today was somewhat premature, because specifics about the baseball stadium aren't being released to the public yet.  Council members in favor of the project stressed they would be asking for more details in the future before any bonds are secured.

The resolution, councilman Bill Stallworth said today, was approved because of timing restrictions.  Passing the resolution, he said, simply expresses the council's intent to support the stadium.  From here, there will be more opportunities to get more details.

According to council leaders, the baseball deal has been in the works for several years.  Several members of the council said they hope to see it come to fruition.

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