Improving downtown in Biloxi's on-deck circle - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Improving downtown in Biloxi's on-deck circle

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Biloxi leaders see an opportunity to bring jumpstart the city's downtown community. They believe the opening of MGM Park can be a catalyst for that revitalization. Today, the city council will discuss what must be considered next to take advantage of baseball in Biloxi.

The city council is expected to hear ideas about improvements that could be made in the downtown area to help augment the arrival this summer of MGM Park. City leaders caution the biggest hurdle for any improvements discussed will be funding.

For instance, there's been chatter about opening the Vieux Marche to two-way traffic. However, the price tag to do that is a minimum of five million dollars. And the city doesn't have funding for that project.

What the city does have is a Main Street program that's already focused on creating a festival atmosphere on gamedays. That group is also looking at the best ways to utilize MGM Park when baseball games aren't played. Biloxi has an agreement with the Shuckers' ownership group to host 10 events inside the ballpark when the Shuckers are out of town, or when the season is over.

 Last week, city consultant Cliff Kirkland talked about that behind the scenes planning already taking place to capitalize on those dates. "We're kind of behind the eight ball there in that the stadium itself won't be ready for another few months," he said.

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