BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It may be 40 years old, but the Coast Coliseum remains a popular entertainment venue. Plans are in the works to modernize the beachfront facility.
"You can see how our revenues continue to grow, and that's an important trend. That's a trend we're very proud of," said coliseum director Matt McDonnell.
He presented a new budget to Harrison County supervisors. In the works are some major improvements to upgrade and modernize, including a new arena roof, an upgraded ice plant, and new video board.
"The arena roof was done 10 plus years ago after Katrina. It's now out of warranty. The ice plant went underwater during Katrina. We rebuilt a portion of it, but it's now to the point where we have to replace it," said McDonnell. "The video board and our arena scoreboard, the parts no longer exist. It's obsolete."
Another planned improvement involves security. Look for the coliseum to install walk through security detectors like the kind you might find at a courthouse or other public building.
"More and more facilities have gone to that. That's now the rule, not the exception. To where you're scanned before you ever come into any public venue," said McDonnell.
The coliseum director is counting on Restore Act money to help fund the various upgrades and improvements.
"How we're looking to fund those repairs is through the money that was pledged to us by Gov. Bryant through the Restore Act. $3.2 million is what was pledged to us last November," said McDonnell.
In addition to the roof repairs, ice plant upgrades, and new video board, there will also be some paving done on the property. Those major improvements planned for the coliseum will cost about $1.5 million.
Along with the planned improvements, a proposed hotel project remains in the works. Two potential developers have presented plans to the coliseum board.