Acting Biloxi mayor calls Shuckers' opening date premature

Acting Biloxi mayor calls Shuckers' opening date premature

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - On the eve of ticket sales for the Biloxi Shuckers' home opener, Biloxi's acting mayor says the June 6 opening date may be premature.

Robert Deming saw a WLOX tweet Monday about the Biloxi Shuckers selling tickets for a June 6 home game at MGM Park.

"That was how I found out," he said. "It floored me. It took me by surprise."

Deming said despite informal talks about the ballpark and when it could open, "There has been no agreement to pay any extra costs to open up early."

As he noted in the news release, opening early could carry a substantial price tag, possibly as much as a half million dollars.

"We've discussed it. And there's going to be a large added cost. And right now, we haven't agreed to pay it," the acting mayor said.

Deming said, "Every one of us wants to play ball as soon as possible." But, he notes Yates has until August 4 to complete ballpark construction.

"The premature nature of publishing a date seems to be similar to the original agreement," said Deming, noting aspects of the deal to build MGM Park seemed to be forced down the city's throat.

"Frustrated is a pretty good term," Deming said.

When asked when he believes MGM Park might open, the acting mayor said, "I think it's up in the air right now."

We spoke with Biloxi Shuckers co-owner Tim Bennett Tuesday morning as sod was being laid down on the field. He was excited about the progress of construction, and stood by the June 6 opening date.

"It took 11 years to say opening day is June 6, so a good day for me," said Bennett.

Meanwhile, individual game tickets are set to go on sale Wednesday morning at 10am at the Shuckers Team Store and all Ticketmaster outlets.

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