Voters Debate Coliseum Expansion

In ten days, Harrison County will vote on a referendum that raises the hotel tax and enlarges the Coast Coliseum complex. Thirty-six times a year, Sea Wolves fans file into the coliseum for a regular season hockey game. They are familiar with the condition of the 27-year-old complex.

Biloxi resident Fred Firth says, "We need a new convention center. This place needs to be repaired."

The Harrison County referendum on November 2nd ballots would not impact the cost of a refreshment purchased at a hocky game. It would add an extra two percent tax to county hotel bills.

Long Beach resident Becky Mullins says she thinks that's okay to do. "We pay more on hotel taxes when we go to other states. I don't think two percent will hurt the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Mullins says.

Opposition forces think it will hurt the area. They tell people there are better ways than the two percent tax to get better hockey seats, and a bigger convention center.

Expansion supporters need to win November second with at least 60 percent of the vote. Otherwise, the new convention center and the coliseum improvements will be tabled for at least two years.