One of the biggest stories on the coast continues to be construction of a baseball stadium in Biloxi to bring minor league baseball to the coast. The Biloxi City Council gets regular updates on the progress.
The $36 million stadium is experiencing delays as Biloxi is getting ready to bring Double-A baseball to the city for the 2015 season. Crews are working on the site across from Beau Rivage, but they are playing a game of beat the clock in an effort to complete the stadium as quickly as possible. Yates Construction hopes to finish by August of next year, well beyond the start of the season in April.
"Well you know the contract calls for a 12 month contract to be finished by August of next year, but ready for play is the real story," Biloxi City Council President Kenny Glavan said. "Can we get it ready to play earlier than the August finish date?"
Glavan later said the ownership group is still hopeful that the team could play in the stadium sooner.
"Just today they started some of the foundation work on the north side of the stadium and we're going to push," Glavan said. "We've had the good fortune of some outstanding weather to date. So we are still hopeful we'll be playing baseball earlier."
The city of Biloxi is facing a fine of $10,000 per home game missed but can only be penalized for a maximum seven games missed in the first month.
"Those mitigating damages, you know, are to protect the baseball owner for his investment," Glavan said. "It actually protects the city because his damages could be much more than $10,000 [per] game."
Glavan said one way to offset the cost of fines is to play as many games on the road as possible.
"If we can get Major League [Baseball] to approve, we can take our home schedule games, play them on the road as the visiting team and then when our visiting game is scheduled in the other town, we can flip flop it over to Biloxi."
The El Paso Chihuahuas, which is the first-year Triple-A affiliate for the San Diego Padres, had to play its first 24 games away from the team's new ballpark since stadium construction didn't have to be completed until April 28 of this year. The season started April 1.