Biloxi baseball stadium could face costly addition
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Biloxi baseball stadium is two months into construction. So far, things have been going according to schedule, but when it comes to funding, a curve ball may soon be thrown into the mix.
As construction has progressed, developers and owners have discovered what could be a mistake in the plans for the $36 million stadium.
"Sometimes something like this comes to the forefront, and it's just something we have to correct," said Biloxi City Council President Kenny Glavan.
Four seating bays were originally cut from the blueprints to save money. Glavan said those bays may have to be there, after all, for minor league seating requirements.
Does this mean exceeding the budget? If it does, Councilman Paul Tisdale wants nothing to do with it.
"I'll vote for this baseball stadium, but I don't plan to vote for anything that exceeds the $36 million price tag," said Tisdale.
According to Tisdale, there is a contingency fund in place for changes made to the stadium, but the fund is only $600,000. Tisdale says that money is mostly gone.
"Right now, by my calculations, there's about $160,000 left," said Tisdale.
Estimates for the seats are just over $400,000. So, where is the additional money coming from?
Glavan said there's still a possibility of investments from the names on the development billboard at the corner of the property.
"It's always been an expectation that this is a partnership between a lot of people and a lot of entities," said Glavan.
Tisdale disagrees with the chances.
"These guys play hardball for a living," said Tisdale.
He thinks the city will be hard-pressed to find any more money down that avenue. In that case, Tisdale expects that additional funds may have to come from the general fund. He says that could eventually see its way into tax payers' pockets.
Glavan says that won't happen.
"If the money doesn't come forward as we continue through the project, we'll have to value engineer and cut other things out," said Glavan.
The owners of the team recently wrote a $33,000 check to the city to add cup holders, which weren't in the plans. Glavan says if worst comes to worst, there are smaller items that can be cut, as well as other factors, that will help pay for the additional seating.
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