Biloxi baseball stadium won't likely be built by 2014

Published: Jul. 24, 2013 at 4:34 PM CDT
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The ballpark will sit on Beau Rivage property north of its downtown Biloxi resort. Home plate...
The ballpark will sit on Beau Rivage property north of its downtown Biloxi resort. Home plate will be near I-110 and Howard Avenue.

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A key part of Biloxi's original baseball plan is in doubt. Among the questions about the proposal to bring minor league baseball to Biloxi is, can the stadium the city plans to build be done for next year's baseball season?

As WLOX has reported, Biloxi is considering a $21 million bond proposal to build a ball park with the hope of attracting a Double AA team to the coast. The stadium would be located on land owned by Beau Rivage. The casino would lease the site to Biloxi.

The plan is to take the $21 million borrowed by Biloxi and combine it with $15 million given by the state for the 7,000 seat, $36 million stadium.

All along, supporters have been saying the stadium must be ready in time for the start of the 2014 season. More and more people are saying it would be a monumental task to prepare the site and build the stadium by April of next year.

Biloxi Spokesman Vincent Creel spoke to the Rotary Club and said it's not realistic to complete a baseball stadium in that time frame.

"With every passing day, it becomes more and more unlikely that you are going to see a stadium in place for the 2014 season," Creel said. "They are continuing to work and continuing to negotiate. Let's be realistic, it takes 12 months at the minimum to build a stadium. So when you look at the construction schedule, we still have to go through the bidding process. There are a lot of things that still have to be done."

The team likely to come to Biloxi is an existing Double AA ball club. Negotiations are delicate and supporters hope pushing the project back to 2015 will not jeopardize the deal.

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