BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - For the first time since 2018, MGM Park will host a college baseball game involving an SEC team.
On Wednesday, Mississippi State released its 2020 baseball schedule, and it includes a trip to the Coast for the Bulldogs. The full 2020 schedule can be viewed here.
Mississippi State will visit Biloxi for games against Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State on March 10 and 11. With the Biloxi Shuckers and team general manager Hunter Reed taking the lead in scheduling, the Bulldogs also agreed to come back to MGM Park for a pair of games in 2021.
“The two year commitment was something that both parties were very excited about and ready to get going,” said Reed. “We really want to make this successful for multiple years.”
The scheduled Bulldog games at MGM Park fall during Mississippi State’s spring break. The Shuckers hope that means fans not just from the Coast will buy tickets.
“Fans, who generally wouldn’t have had a chance to be down here on the Coast, might make a spring break out of it. Hopefully, bring some folks down to the Coast, help out some other businesses in the area, get them down here for a Tuesday and Wednesday and really show off what we have on the Mississippi Coast,” said Garrett Greene, Shuckers Media Relations Manager.
Crowds filling MGM Park when the Shuckers aren’t playing is a welcomed development for the city of Biloxi.
“Anything the Shuckers and the city can do to bring more events whether their sporting or non-sporting into that ballpark is going to help lower the debt that the tax payers are having to pay,” said Vincent Creel, Biloxi Public Affairs Manager.
Previously, when college teams played at MGM Park, Overtime Sports scheduled and managed the games. The Shuckers are now actively working to schedule more events, but are also cautious in doing so.
“It’s all well and good to bring teams down to the Coast. But if you’re going to bring Ole Miss down here, you have to make it worthwhile for them to come down here,” Greene said. “You can’t just say we know the kids have class on Monday and Tuesday, so bring them down here for a Wednesday night and get them back to Oxford. That’s a little bit of a push and pull. It’s not all just can we bring teams in. It’s does it make sense for them and how can we make it make sense for them.”
MGM Park is also scheduled to host the Conference USA Tournament once again May 20-24, 2020. That event is scheduled and managed by Overtime Sports not the Shuckers.