Shuckers remain temporarily homeless; stadium misses June target

Shuckers remain temporarily homeless; stadium misses June target

BILOXI, MS (WAFF) - The former Huntsville Stars' new home address will not be ready for a planned June 6 early opening.

In a statement released Wednesday, Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich said that the city will now work with contractors to have MGM Park ready for an August 4 opening to host its newly-renamed Biloxi Shuckers.

Gilich said the city was presented with the prospect of paying at least $300,000 for the earlier opening, but had no guarantee the work would be completed on time.

"I toured the stadium and met with representatives of Yates Construction to get an update," Gilich said. "I was told it would cost $380,000 extra to open June 6, provided the stadium could qualify for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy."

Gilich went on to say that his decision to instead wait for an August opening was an easy one.

"I support the stadium and the Biloxi Shuckers, and I'm eager to see the first home game. But I certainly won't ask the taxpayers to invest that much more into the project, especially with no assurances that the stadium would be ready in nine days," he said.

Biloxi faces a $10,000-per-game fine for every home game missed this season, but a contract amendment capped the fine at $250,000 if certain stadium improvements are not completed by the team by June 1.

By that date, the Shuckers will have missed 25 home games, according to Shuckers minority owner Tim Bennett. Another 24 home games are scheduled from June 6 to Aug. 4.

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