Some Biloxi leaders question June 6 start date for MGM Park

Some Biloxi leaders question June 6 start date for MGM Park

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Yates Construction is playing a game of beat the clock in an effort to get MGM Park ready for a home game by June 6.

The Biloxi Shuckers have already sold tickets for a home game on that date, even though a lot of work remains to be done at the stadium.

While the Shuckers are confident the park will be game ready, some Biloxi officials are raising a red flag.

The field looks like it's almost ready for a ball game. The lights are up and the seats are in place.

As construction continues at the $36 million MGM Park, team co-owner Tim Bennett is confident the stadium will be good to go by June 6.

"I'm 100 percent sure, barring any catastrophic weather. We saw a lot of rain about a month ago, and that slowed things down. If we don't run into that kind of weather again, we feel certain we'll get it done by that time," said Bennett.

Meanwhile, some leaders in Biloxi question that start date, because they think it will add to the cost of the project.

"The number has been thrown out anywhere from $250,000 to $800,000. Does the city council and mayor want to spend that kind of money to get the team playing a few weeks early," according to Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols.

Nichols says that extra cost would come from halting construction while the Shuckers play a home series. That would mean the city might have to pay more to make up for the lost time.

Contractually, Yates has until August 4, to complete the stadium. All that's needed to throw out the first pitch at MGM Park is a temporary certificate of occupancy.

Nichols thinks the city will study the costs before signing off on an accelerated construction schedule.

"If we got that figure down to between $100,000 and $200,000, it would be more manageable. I think anything above that is out of the question," Nichols said.

Things like player facilities, rest rooms and food concession areas are at the top of the list of items that have to be completed by June 6.

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