Biloxi pulling resources to finance additional ballpark costs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi pulling resources to finance additional ballpark costs

Future site of MGM Ballpark at the Beau Rivage. Image source: WLOX News. Future site of MGM Ballpark at the Beau Rivage. Image source: WLOX News.
The bid approved was for just under $30 million Image source: WLOX News. The bid approved was for just under $30 million Image source: WLOX News.
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Now that the City of Biloxi has approved a bid for stadium construction to start, baseball officials are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The bid approved was for just under $30 million, but there are still some big-ticket items that bid doesn't cover.

"We need to pull all our resources, all the parties together. Keep our sleeves rolled up and keep working extremely hard," said city council President Kenny Glavan.

Glavan called on the city to be bold and stand behind the council's decision to approve the construction bid, but as the bid stands, the stadium will be missing key components such as a scoreboard and a pedestrian walkway.

Team owner Tim Bennett knows that even with the project being green-lighted, there are still budget and time constraints. "We're working right now pretty feverishly to try to make both of those things kind of come into play for us in a good way so we can start playing ball in 2015," said Bennett.

Bennett is confident that the additional costs will be covered by certain commitments that have already been made, but it's a process. Many of the commitments can't be officially discussed yet.

"We're not going to go out and solicit businesses for money to build this stadium. We've got money that's been allocated to build it, and we're going to use that to build the facility that we need," said Bennett.

One financial commitment has come from the Harrison County Board of Supervisors.

"We're hoping that we can bring those additional dollars to the table," said Supervisor Windy Swetman.

It's now a waiting game for the county. Once the city approaches the board of supervisors with a number, then supervisors will vote on what can be done.

"Harrison County, from day one, has pledged to be a financial party in this with the City of Biloxi," said Swetman.

That includes at least a $1 million pledge, but Swetman said it could be more.

As for the walkway, the Mississippi Department of Transportation is working towards a possible contribution to help with that in the form of a program for pedestrian traffic.

Biloxi's latest budget dealings have left a $600,000 contingency plan for additional costs. The city is certain that funds will come through to cover anything over that.

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