No shucking: Gilich says let’s ‘Play Ball’ June 6

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich announced today it’s time to play ball on June 6.

The mayor said an agreement is now in place to open MGM Park for the June 6 Biloxi Shuckers home game against the Mobile Bay Bears.

“I’m pleased to announce that we’ve been able to reach an agreement with the Biloxi Shuckers and Yates Construction that will allow the team to play its first home game in the new stadium a week from Saturday,” Gilich said.

“We’ve been involved in intense ongoing negotiations since I first toured the stadium last weekend. Yesterday it appeared we weren’t going to be able to reach the agreement I wanted, but the Shuckers and Yates stepped up today in a spirit of cooperation and we have a deal that is good for all parties.¬† And I’m proud to say it won’t cost the citizens a penny more than already committed to the stadium, and will certainly save hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional fines we potentially faced.”

The agreement today does not increase Biloxi’s financial obligation beyond what it was already contractually required to pay. The city entered into a $29.1 million, 12-month construction contract with Yates last July. The deal included an Aug. 4, 2015 completion deadline. Additional costs for site work and design/engineering pushed the total project to $36 million. The city contributed a $21 million bond and the state added $15 million.

As part of its agreement to bring the Shuckers to Biloxi, the city agreed to a $10,000 per-game penalty for every home game missed this season. As of June 6, Biloxi will owe $250,000 in penalties to the Shuckers, and potentially would have owed $240,000 more if the stadium didn’t open before Aug. 4.

On Wednesday, Gilich announced that he wouldn’t support a proposal to open the stadium on June 6¬†in exchange for an additional payment of $300,000 to Yates Construction, which attributed the expense to various costs associated with speeding up construction for an early opening, and construction interruptions to allow baseball games.
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