Shuckers pregame party may be foul ball for dance recital - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Shuckers pregame party may be foul ball for dance recital

Rusty Waites, co-owner of Angie's Dance Center, is fighting for more parking around the Saenger Theater for this Saturday. (Photo source: WLOX) Rusty Waites, co-owner of Angie's Dance Center, is fighting for more parking around the Saenger Theater for this Saturday. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Rusty Waites is going to have to take one for the team, and he's not happy about it. The co-owner of Angie's Dance Center is fighting to have parking space around the Saenger Theatre on Saturday where his group will have two performances that will likely draw close to 1,000 people.

The area around the theater has been designated public parking during the Ultimate Game Day Experience before the Shuckers first game at MGM Park.

On Tuesday, he asked the city council for at least 100 parking spaces. On Thursday morning, he received an email confirming only 45 immediately around the theater.

“One hundred spaces is not going to kill the game day event,” Waites said. “One hundred spaces is not going to impact the baseball game.”

Waites has been renting out the Saenger for recitals for about 10 years. He booked this year's event in December 2013.

He said this is not just about him. It's about everyone else who uses the Saenger Theater. He said anyone who rents the Saenger should be provided with a comparable number of parking spaces.

“It impacts me more because it's the first game and it's the game day experience, and they're not going to have this every time. But, there are still going to be parking problems if the city doesn't justify renting out a space with the amount of seats they have in there.”

City spokesman Vincent Creel said this issue is more critical than ever before, and the early opening of MGM Park has taken everyone by surprise.

“What we're trying to do is work with everybody in consideration of the short notice that was given on this. We're working with the person that rented the Saenger as best we can,” Creel said. “And that's the best we can do. But the fact of the matter is, there is no dedicated parking downtown. It's all public parking.”

Waites was also upset at what he said was a requirement in the Saenger contract that he be responsible for cleaning the parking lot.

Not so, Creel said. He said the only requirement is for the loading dock outside the Saenger be left in clean condition.

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