BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi now officially has a baseball team. The Southern League announced Friday that they have approved the sale of the Huntsville Stars to a group led by Ken Young. The plan is to relocate the franchise to Biloxi, starting with the 2015 season.
Former major league baseball player Barry Lyons of Biloxi has been trying for years to bring a minor league team to the Biloxi. Through the efforts of Lyons and Tim Bennett, it will become reality when the Biloxi franchise hits the playing field in the Southern League.
Bennett has been instrumental in trying to secure a franchise for the Mississippi Gulf Coast and apparently he hit a home run.
The Stars will be moving from the oldest stadium in the Southern League to a brand new facility in downtown Biloxi. Construction hasn't even started on the new stadium, but Biloxi city leaders have approved the $21 million bond needed to fund the work.
Biloxi Chief Administrator David Nichols expects construction to begin around the first of March.
"We've got to make sure the stadium is within budget and make any contract changes because of the delays we've incurred," Nichols told WLOX News. "We'll go back to the city council and move forward with this stadium."
Biloxi's next city council meeting is January 21.
So what happens to the Stars this season?
The Huntsville Stars will continue to play at Joe W. Davis Stadium for the 2014 season.
"Leaving Huntsville at the end of the 2014 season will be bittersweet for our league due to our long association with former Stars' owner and beloved former Southern League President Don Mincher. But, as sad as we are to be leaving the Huntsville market, we are also excited as we look forward to opening a new ballpark in Biloxi and bringing professional baseball to that community," League President Lori Webb started.