The extended process of bringing baseball to Biloxi has come to an end.
Now it’s time to build, then play.
The Biloxi City Council passed five measures Tuesday, opening the door to begin construction of a $36 million minor league stadium across the street from the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.
In votes of 5-2, the council accepted $15 million from the state in BP oil spill funds; agreed to lease land for $1 a year from Beau Rivage Resort & Casino; agreed to a stadium lease with Biloxi Baseball LLC, owners of the minor league franchise; and agreed to the sale of $21 million in Taxable Special Obligation Bonds by the Mississippi Development Bank.
Council members Felix Gines, Dixie Newman, Paul Tisdale, Robert Deming III and Kenny Glavan supported the plan. David Fayard and George Lawerence voted against the measure.
The council voted 7-0 for Dale Partners Architects to build the stadium, parking garage and related facilities.
Ken Young, the majority owner, has purchased the Huntsville, Ala., Stars — a Milwaukee Brewer Double-A farm team — and plans to move the team for the 2015 season. That dictates completion of the first phase of the project by April 2015.
Biloxi has been seeking a baseball team for 20 years, first by former New York Met and Biloxi native Barry Lyons, and more recently by Overtime Sports director Tim Bennett, the man behind the move of the Atlanta Braves Double-A franchise to Pearl in 2004.
This most recent attempt became serious on May 14 when the Biloxi City Council passed the resolution to build a stadium and bring a team to Biloxi. Many delays follows, forcing the developers to push the start date to 2015.