Gilich: Let’s build on Opening Day success

The Biloxi Shuckers fell short on the MGM Park scoreboard opening night against the Pensacola Wahoos, but Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich says the Biloxi minor league team fared much better at the box office.

“I think everybody had a great time,” said Gilich, who threw out the first pitch for the game (an inside strike, he claims). “The thing I found most encouraging was that we had about 3,500 people, which is a thousand more people than opening day last year. We just need to do that 69 more times.”

The Shuckers, who dropped the home season opener 3-0, continue their homestand against Pensacola this evening at 6:35.
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Shuckers GM Chuck Arnold on 2017 and MGM Park

Five questions with Chuck Arnold, 36-year-old general manager of the Biloxi Shuckers, who’s beginning his second season in Biloxi, after two seasons with Pensacola and 10 seasons with a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate.

Why are you excited about this season?

“You’re always excited to open a new season. We’ve got a great new lineup of promotions, with something every night, whether it’s food, ticket specials, Friday giveaways, or Saturday fireworks, and we’re going to build on the community involvement that we’ve had in the past year, where we’ve made a positive impact on this community outside the ballpark and the entertainment.”

What are the challenges of getting people into the park?

“Baseball is a long season with 70 homes games. That’s why we’re working hard to have new promotions that attract people from the entire community, not just baseball fans. Anybody can come to MGM Park and have a good time.”

What about the ticket prices?

“We have tickets starting as low as $7 for the berm in the outfield, which is located next to Schooner’s Fun Zone. A lot of families with young children enjoy sitting there, where the children can run around, and the family can have a picnic. We also have tickets from $11 to $15 for regular seats, and $22 for club seats, as well as opportunities for groups to purchase discounted tickets and have a picnic at the park. On Sundays, we have a special where you receive four tickets, four hot dogs and chips, and four drinks for only $60.  We also offer military, senior, and youth discounts on individual tickets.”

How would you describe the experience of a minor league game in MGM Park?

“Immediately when you walk into MGM Park, you’re greeted by our wonderful staff, from the ticket takers, to the ushers and the general staff. It’s a very family friendly environment, with Schooner the mascot, high energy music, a high energy staff that wants to help create a positive experience.  You also have the opportunity to watch future Major League players every night and the Shuckers pull out a win.”

And how is it opening against Pensacola, your former team?

“I loved my time in Pensacola, but I’m excited to be a part of the Biloxi community now. We’re trying to bring a lot of their success here to Biloxi. We have an amazing ballpark, a lot more amenities and we’re creating our own brand, which we hope to rival and exceed what’s going on in Pensacola.”
Learn more about the Biloxi Shuckers


City Desk: Mayor on the issues

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, guesting on this week’s City Desk podcast, touches on a number of issues: spring break, Shuckers, infrastructure work, Popp’s Ferry Causeway Park and “the boat to Ship Island.” The nine-minute program was recorded this morning at City Hall.
Listen to City Desk podcast


News and notes

Good Friday: Non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday. 

Weekend preview: The inaugural Gulf Coast Oyster Cookoff and Festival takes place on the Biloxi Town Green, the Shuckers are hosting the Wahoos all weekend, Kathy Griffin is at the IP, and the search is on for the spirits of Beauvoir. See the weekend entertainment listings by clicking here.

Council agenda: The Biloxi City Council meets Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at Biloxi City Hall. The meeting is open to the public. To see the meeting agenda and supporting documents, click here.