On deck: A team and approval by Minor League Baseball

David Nichols, Biloxi’s chief administrative officer, will be in the state capital with city financial advisers Wednesday morning, following through on the city’s initiative to borrow $21 million to construct a downtown baseball stadium that will host minor league baseball games and other events.

The move comes after the City Council’s 5-2 vote this afternoon to lease an 8-acre block from the Beau Rivage, where the city will construct a stadium, parking garage for Beau Rivage employees, and provide space for other commercial development on the northern end of the site.

“A couple of other things have to happen before we can move forward, and those things will happen before we actually borrow the money,” Nichols said. “First, the team must be purchased, and the Minor League Baseball must approve of everything.

“We expect to see those things happen very shortly.”

The $35 million initiative will also use $15 million in BP funds provided by Gov. Phil Bryant.

An as-yet-unidentified Double AA team in the Southern League is expected to begin play in the 2015 season, which begins in April 2015 in the stadium. The team itself, according to an agreement passed by the council, will have “Biloxi” in its name.

“Biloxi has been working for 10 years to get a professional baseball team in our city,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said in a statement at the outset of the meeting. “We now have the best opportunity we ever had to accomplish our goal.”

Holloway pointed to the $15 million in BP money, use of the Beau Rivage property and the firm’s pledge to market the venture “locally, regionally and nationally,” and an expected $14 million investment of relocating a team by prospective team owner Ken Young, “who has a record of success in a managing baseball in other areas of the country.”

Said the mayor in his statement: “All of the pieces are in place for success.”

See photos, renderings and the formal agreements

Photos: To see dozens of photos from the council meeting this morning, click here.

Renderings: To see renderings of the stadium, as released in May, click here.

The original announcement: To see the May 30 announcement by Gov. Bryant about the possibility of baseball in Biloxi,
click here.

The stadium lease: To see the terms and conditions of the lease between the city and the Beau Rivage, click here.

The team agreement: To see the sublease between the city, the baseball team and the Beau Rivage,
click here.