Gilich: MGM Park will not be ready to play ball on June 6 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

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Gilich: MGM Park will not be ready to play ball on June 6

Source: The city of Biloxi Source: The city of Biloxi
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Biloxi city officials have decided that the $300,000 price tag to finish MGM Park before June 6, is just too much to bear.

Mayor FoFo Gilich said he sat down with Yates Construction representatives to get an estimate on what it would take to have the stadium ready by that launch date. After he heard the quote, Gilich decided to nix the plan and work with the contractor towards an opening date before Aug. 4.

“I toured the stadium and met with representatives of Yates Construction to get an update,” said Gilich on the City of Biloxi website. “I was told it would cost $380,000 extra to open June 6, provided the stadium could qualify for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. I support the stadium and the Biloxi Shuckers, and I'm eager to see the first home game. But I certainly won't ask the taxpayers to invest that much more into the project, especially with no assurances that the stadium would be ready in nine days.”

Gilich said contractor William Yates originally told him the cost of accelerating construction would be in the ballpark of $500,000. Gilich thanked Yates for slashing the price tag by $200,000 and meeting him in the middle.

“I want to remind the public that Yates Construction has until Aug. 4 to complete the project on schedule,” said Gilich. “There seems to be some misperceptions that construction is behind schedule just because it's not ready yet. Yates has worked hard to finish ahead of schedule and I believe they will.”

The Biloxi City Council signed a contract with Yates last August for a 12-month build of the ball park. Gilich says the city has worked hard to meet the demand and challenges of an upcoming opening day.

“There are many things the City has to prepare for related to the opening, from traffic and parking to public safety concerns,” said Gilich. “I'm confident Biloxi is ready to meet the challenges of opening day, but there are still many construction issues to be completed before the stadium could open.”

For every Shuckers home game missed this season, the city must fork over $10,000 in fines, but a contract amendment capped that fine at $250,000 if certain elements of the stadium are not complete by June 1.

Shuckers co-owner Tim Bennett says the team will have missed 25 home games by June 1, and another 24 home games are scheduled between June 6 and Aug. 4.

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