Holmes: Check For Coliseum Expansion Is "In The Mail"

Coliseum Director Bill Holmes says a $68 million check "is in the mail."

On Monday, Harrison County Supervisors gave their okay to borrowing the money needed for expansion and renovation of the Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.

Holmes says taxpayers are getting a great deal because the bonds have a very low interest rate, 4.42% for 30 years. He says that's a better interest rate than the county got 30 years ago for the original coliseum construction.

Over the life of the loan, the lower interest rate will save millions of dollars.

In November, Harrison County voters approved a two cent hotel-motel tax which will be used to repay the bonds.

Among the improvements to be made; refurbished seats in the coliseum, an additional 200,000 square feet of meeting space in the convention center, and a new entrance to the coliseum off Popp's Ferry Road.

Clearing work for the Popp's Ferry entrance is already underway and additional parking.

Holmes predicts the expansion could create 800 new tourism jobs, and new opportunities to bring even more convention delegates to this facility and its neighboring hotels.

The entire expansion and renovation of the Coliseum and Convention Center is scheduled to be completed in the winter of 2007.