BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - How much more money will it cost to build a baseball stadium in Biloxi that's already at its budget limit? There's a chance the city may need an additional $2.3 million to complete the project.
That figure is based on a conversation WLOX News had Wednesday with the ballpark architect, and by reviewing the original contract submitted to the city council and posted on Biloxi's website.
That $2.3 million is more than likely the high end of what Biloxi will ultimately need.
The extra money covers three critical amenities the ballpark must have. It needs a scoreboard, signs and an audio system. None of those necessities are in the current budget. Biloxi doesn't have any wiggle room in its $36 million budget to pay for them.
The architect estimates the scoreboard will cost anywhere from $250,000 to $1.7 million. The price range to put signs around the stadium is between $50,000 and $250,000. An audio system could cost up to $350,000.
We're told designers are about to re-bid the scoreboard and the signs. Biloxi leaders will know in a few weeks what they will actually cost. At that point, they can begin to work on ways to pay for them.
When Biloxi leaders met Tuesday and approved two new seating areas for the ballpark, they were told the additional $418,000 cost for those seats wiped out the city's contingency fund.
Despite an assurance that savings from utility work would offset the seating costs, three councilmen voted against the seats. They said they would not support any ballpark changes that put the stadium over its $36 million budget.