The City of Biloxi is on the verge of finalizing a deal for a new minor league ballpark and bringing an affiliated team to town.
Tim Bennett, president of Jackson-based Overtime Sports and the leader of the movement that brought the Braves to Pearl, Miss., said the state is near approving a plan for an entertainment complex that would include a 6,000-seat, $20-25 million ballpark. He added that his company is near an agreement with an affiliated Double-A team to relocate there, likely in time for the 2011 season. Bennett would not comment on the league or team, but Biloxi obviously fits into the Southern League footprint.
A call to Southern League president Don Mincher was not immediately returned.
Bennett said state and local officials are behind a public/private partnership for funding a complex that would include a hotel overlooking the ballpark, a theater attached to the facility and a parking garage. The ballpark would include around 20 luxury suites to accommodate both the local gaming and corporate communities, Bennett said.
"We want to try and offer something to everybody," Bennett said.
Bennett points to the successful development around the Braves’ Trustman Park, and says they would follow the club’s model of hosting local college and high school baseball events as an extra revenue stream. He said the Braves’ biggest attendance figures at Trustman have been collegiate games.
We’ll follow up on this as more details emerge . . .
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