Coliseum Director Unveils Hopes For New Coliseum

BILOXI (WLOX) -- Coast Coliseum director Bill Holmes says the time to start planning for a new coliseum is now. He says that became evident as post-Katrina renovations got underway, revealing some wear and tear on the 31-year-old facility.

"What we're talking about, if you move it up here to the I-ten corridor, somewhere maybe around Woolmarket exit, you have four north south connectors," Holmes said.

Holmes says the new Coliseum would have 14,500 seats.

"We could draw regional basketball tournaments. We could get prize fights coming in, bigger than we've ever had. We could also get bigger shows. Hannah Montana, everything was put in. The numbers were put in. The Hannah Montana tour was going to stop here March 4th, but we only have 11,500 seats, 10,500 in front of the house, so they went to the new arena, which is one of our competitors," Holmes said.

Holmes says the new Coliseum would also help accomodate more people during times of disaster.

"What you're looking at, now getting it off the beach, you have a shelter that can house 15,000 people. You have a POD, a point of distribution in natural disasters. You have more room for expansion," Holmes said.

Holmes estimates the cost of the new Coliseum would be about $100 million dollars.

"There's a lot of revenue generators pit there that could be used. One such generator could be the Old Coliseum Food and Beverage Tax, which died in 1991. If the food and beverage tax came back, and that's prepared food, it would be more than enough to take care of that and many other things," Holmes said.

Holmes stresses the plans for relocation only includes the Coliseum. Holmes says the Convention Center would remain at its current location.