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Close vote expected on proposed baseball stadium

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — The vote to finance construction of a minor league baseball stadium in downtown Biloxi is expected Tuesday after a public hearing and it’s expected to be close.

The state contributed a $15 million grant from BP to build the stadium. The council now must decide if the city should back a $21 million bond, which will be repaid with a $2 surcharge on every baseball ticket. That was increased from the proposed $1 extra charge to ensure it will cover the bond payment.

Councilman Kenny Glavan tells The Sun Herald all the council members have been encouraged to look at details of the final agreement before Tuesday’s meeting.

Mayor A.J. Holloway has been trying for years to get a stadium built in Biloxi. A proposal was pitched to the city council around the beginning of the year, with hopes of playing at least part of the 2014 season in the new stadium. That was pushed back to 2015 as the discussions continued for months.

Biloxi maintains naming rights to the ballfield that the city can sell to raise additional funds to repay the bond, said Paul Tisdale, who was elected the president of the Biloxi council Tuesday. He plans to review the contract before Tuesday and said he hopes the bond issue will pass.

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