City seeks to maximize use, benefits of MGM Park

“Breakfast with the Mayor” was presented as “Breakfast with the Acting Mayor” this morning, as Ward 2 Councilman Felix O. Gines, filling in for Mayor A.J. Holloway, spoke to a number of city issues before introducing a program about the opportunities the city faces with MGM Park.

“I’m proud that the mayor has chosen me to stand up for Biloxi as needed,” Gines told the crowd of nearly 200 at IP Casino Resort. “And speaking of the mayor, we already know when the mayor is going to be back. And that’s going to be when he’s ready. Not one minute before, not one minute later.  When he’s ready.”

Gines told the audience that he has served as acting mayor on several occasions when Mayor Holloway was out of town. He reminded audience members that city business is being conducted as usual, updated them on several ongoing city projects and said the city is taking steps to maximize the economic benefits of MGM Park.

Said Gines: “Under the terms of the contract we have with the baseball team and the Beau Rivage, the city is allowed to have 10 events in the stadium each year. This is very important to us for many reasons. We’re also looking to have some exciting things in downtown Biloxi on game day.”

Gines introduced F. Cliff Kirkland, who said Biloxi’s 6,000-seat downtown stadium presents new open-air entertainment opportunities that can further enhance Coast tourism and generate revenue to help defray construction costs.

“Many of us have looked at the stadium as a baseball venue, but it is so much more,” said Kirkland, a former Chief Administrative Officer for the city and the current President of Main Street Biloxi.

“Having a first-class facility like MGM Park gives Biloxi the opportunity to offer bigger concerts and more diverse cultural and entertainment events. We don’t look at the stadium as a competitor for the successful venues already in place across the Coast, but as a tourism partner that can drive more visitors into the Coast and diversify the thriving entertainment industry already established here.”

Kirkland, a Biloxi native, was hired last week to help plan and coordinate the 10 events the city is guaranteed each year in the stadium. He said the administration and City Council have a common vision of using those dates for entertainment and community events like festivals.

No announcement has been made as to when the stadium will be completed or available for events, but the city has said construction is ahead of its Aug. 4 schedule.

Kirkland also briefed the large audience about the Game Day Experience being planned by Main Street Biloxi for the first home game of the Biloxi Shuckers. Main Street and the city are co-sponsoring an afternoon-long “ultimate tailgate party” to welcome the team to its new home.

Shuckers players, coaches and management will be on hand to sign autographs and interact with the thousands of fans expected to attend the opener. Live entertainment, baseball-related activities and children’s games will be available throughout the event, which will be staged on Howard Avenue between Reynoir and Lameuse streets.

Vendors and businesses interested in participating should contact Main Street Biloxi at 228-435-6370 or via email by clicking here.
Read comments made by Felix O. Gines
See photos from this morning
See a flyer about Game Day Experience