City files lawsuit against owners of Biloxi Shuckers

City files lawsuit against owners of Biloxi Shuckers

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The City of Biloxi is suing the owners of the Biloxi Shuckers over unpaid rent and other revenue.

The city filed a lawsuit in Harrison County Chancery Court demanding Biloxi Baseball and Overtime Sports provide detailed records of all ticket sales and advertising revenue to determine rent, advertising, and ticket revenue owed to the city.

"The city is in the early stages of a long-term lease with these businesses," City Attorney Peter Abide said. "We need to be able to verify revenues and expenses so we can manage the agreements moving forward."

"I can't comment on the specifics because of the legal ramifications," said Tim Bennett, CEO of Overtime Sports. "Overtime Sports is making every effort to provide information to the City of Biloxi."

The lawsuit claims the club owners agreed to pay the city a total base rent of $300,000 by Oct. 1, 2016. Biloxi Baseball to date has paid $146,450 in rent.

Biloxi Baseball claims it is entitled to a $153,550 offset against that total payment. The city says Biloxi Baseball does not have the authority to make that determination.

The city also claims uncertified records provided by Biloxi Baseball and Overtime Sports show 23,825 tickets have been sold for Biloxi Baseball events, but the owners have only paid $1,536 in ticket revenue for those events.

The lawsuit says the city is entitled to $50,000 a year in advertising revenue every year under a video board agreement. The city claims Biloxi Baseball has not paid any of that money.

The city says Biloxi Baseball applied for a tourism rebate with the Mississippi Development Authority in 2015. That application said it would cost $20 million to acquire and move the baseball team from Huntsville to Biloxi.

According to the lawsuit, Biloxi Baseball has only accounted for $16.5 million of investments eligible under the program. That has prevented the city from taking full advantage of the rebate program, the suit says.

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