BILOXI, Mississippi — Work crews have started putting seats in the bowl of the Biloxi Shuckers' stadium along with drainage in the outfield and are laying out the bases. Next will be the soil, and officials are hoping grass can go down in about 30 days.
On Tuesday, the Biloxi City Council and team adjusted the agreement so Opening Day won't be delayed if some painting or other non-essential work still needs to be done. The AV equipment and signs will be done by June 1 because they are life-safety issues.
"My goal is to have both of these done by early May but no later than June 1," said Tim Bennett with Overtime Sports and a part owner of the team.
Bennett told The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/1xydQNQ) that the painting and other cosmetic work will be complete by July 1 under the new agreement.
Last week, the team agreed to spend at least $925,000 to buy audio-visual equipment, signs and other equipment in hopes of expediting Opening Day.
"The purpose of the team putting the money up is so that we can open as soon as possible, even if that means the stadium is not done in its entirety," Bennett said.
That could require a temporary certificate of occupancy from the city, he said.
"As long as we can operate safely and the boys can play ball, we want to get in there," he said.
The city's contract with the team calls for a $10,000-per-game penalty for every home game that has to be played on the road.
Bennett said the economic impact of delaying the opening is closer to $50,000 per game because the teams will be staying in hotels in other cities, the Biloxi stadium employees won't be working until the opening and the fans won't be downtown.
"As soon as we can play, that penalty goes away," Bennett said.
Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com
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