BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi made $205 from the first ever city event at MGM Park. While not a big money maker, some leaders said last month's Concert for the Coast was a great first step they hope to build on.
After about 1,500 people showed up at MGM Park to watch Dr. John and other acts take the stage. Biloxi leaders said they're getting inquiries from other entertainers interested in playing the venue. So some council members wanted to know just how the city made out financially from the event.
"The total revenues were $103,355," said Paul Tisdale, council member. "Total expenses were $103,150. Bottom line was a $205 profit. A lot of intangibles in terms of people know we're open for business."
Biloxi Civic Innovation Officer Cliff Kirkland said the good news is the city didn't lose money and it gained a great learning experience on what to book.
"We need to expand on the diversity of the events. We need to look beyond just concerts," said Kirkland. "We're working on several things. Festivals. Sporting events that are non-baseball related. We need a diversity to attract and compete with some of our competitors here on the coast for the entertainment dollar."
Kirkland said while large outdoor concerts are nice, they are also high risk because of weather cancellations and because of the expense.
"The cost of the acts themselves is significant. The other cost we face at the stadium right now, the infrastructure costs are significant as well," Kirkland said. "We don't have a stage. We don't have a sound and light system. We don't have power to the actual location where the stages are going to be. In terms of our growth. we want to get to the point where we can put a concert in there that's going to attract 14,000 people but again those are expensive endeavors."
Biloxi leaders say the crowds will grow but it will take time. The city is working on scheduling more events at the stadium which will be announced at a later date.