Workers in the bottom of the 9th preparing MGM Park for Shuckers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Workers in the bottom of the 9th preparing MGM Park for Shuckers fans

If the construction of MGM Park was compared to a baseball game, it could be said workers are rounding third base and on their way to sliding into home. (Photo source: WLOX) If the construction of MGM Park was compared to a baseball game, it could be said workers are rounding third base and on their way to sliding into home. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

It's the bottom of the 9th for workers trying to get the Biloxi's new stadium ready in time for the big game on Saturday. When the gates open at 5pm at MGM Park, thousands of baseball fans will begin flooding into the brand new stadium. But before that happens, the stadium needs a certificate of occupancy from the city.

"As far as the stadium construction, we're very close to completion on most of the fan amenities as you walk into the park," said Tim Bennett, team co-owner. "We've got our seating bowl done. We've got our video boards operational. Most of our signage is in place. Our concession is coming together, so we're coming very close to completion."

Team officials said getting to this point hasn't been a walk in the park.

"It's a bundle of emotions for everybody. Not just for me, but for all the workers who have worked so hard and diligently to get us done early," Bennett said. "Yates has done a fantastic job. They had until August 4th to get it done. They're getting us in here a couple of months early. There have been trials and tribulations, and we've have some testy times, but we got through it."

Team officials assure the public that in working faster, they haven't cut any corners.

"When you start trying to compress a 12 month schedule into 10 months, you do tend to overlook certain things," said Bennett. "When it comes to life safety, you can't miss anything at all. So we paid real close attention to the life safety issues. We've taken care of those."

Now baseball fans are waiting to hear those two magic words: Play ball.

Bennett said, "They've waited for this. I've waited for this. I just can't wait to finally open the gates and get that first game behind us and let's hope our boys can pull off a victory."

Officials said not everything will be ready in time for Saturday's game.

"Of course, our suites won't be ready for opening day. We'll continue working on them right through 'til our next home stand. We're very hopeful that they'll be open at that point," said Bennett. "Our southern entrance won't be ready, as well. That's something that we'll continue working on and hopefully we'll have that finished by July 1st."

Bennett said several people have been selected to throw out the first pitches. However, who those lucky people are is a game day secret. Meanwhile, over the Shuckers store, officials said sales have increased in this week leading to the first home game. We ran into Monica and Grand Dickinson of Ocean Springs shopping for team merchandise. They say they're happy not to have to drive to Mobile or New Orleans to catch minor league baseball.

"Because you can always say you were there for the very first one. The experience," Grant Dickinson said.

"It's always the best experience and maybe it will make the community more proud," said Monica Dickinson.

Officials said the new stadium seats about 6,000 people.

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