BILOXI, Mississippi — After 55 days on the road, the Biloxi Shuckers will play their first home Saturday.
On opening night there will be people to thank, first pitches to throw, the National Anthem to sing, "and then we'll play ball," said Buck Rogers, Shuckers' general manager.
The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1BGcJsi ) construction crews were everywhere Monday, readying the stadium for the team and 6,000 fans at MGM Park on opening night. The gates open at 5 p.m. and game time is 7:10 p.m.
Team co-owner Tim Bennett said fans will be greeted with the expanse of green grass, brilliant colors on the huge video boards, rows of royal blue seats, teams on the field and the aroma of food.
Bennett said the team created as close to a major league experience as possible, with views of the Beau Rivage and Hard Rock casinos, the highway and the water.
"You can see the downtown, the hospital, the church. It's a real fan friendly ball park," he said.
The team expects the stadium to see a lot of home runs. The 325 feet to right field isn't that far, depending on the breeze, but they expect most of the homers to be to left field.
Unlike other parks where fans have to go inside for refreshments, at MGM Park food trucks and concession stands are open to the field.
"You don't miss a pitch," Bennett said.
Along with traditional popcorn and hot dogs, MGM Park concessions will dispense local flavors like Barq's root beer, oysters, gumbo, shrimp po-boys and boudin. Also offered will be The Shed's award-winning barbecue and former Saints player Joe Horn's smoked sausage.
Lots of VIPs will be there, Gov. Phil Bryant, Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich and former Mayor A.J. Holloway, who worked with Bennett for a decade to get the stadium built in Biloxi, among them. Officials from the Milwaukee Brewers and Minor League Baseball also will be in the stands.
Information from: The Daily Star, http://www.grenadastar.com