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After further review, Biloxi Shuckers’ first pitch will indeed be June 6

MGM Park in Biloxi will open for its first game June 6.

MGM Park in Biloxi will open for its first game June 6.

An agreement has been reached for the Biloxi Shuckers to play their first home game against the Mobile Bay Bears on June 6 at MGM Park, according to Mary Perez of The Sun Herald.

“I’m pleased to announce that we’ve been able to reach an agreement with the Biloxi Shuckers and Yates Construction that will allow the team to play its first home game in the new stadium a week from Saturday,” Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich said Thursday afternoon.

Tim Bennett, one of the team’s owners, said: “We saw the importance of making a second run at negotiations, due in part of the fans and their support for the June 6 date. We found a solution that was fair and equitable to all parties involved, most importantly the fans, the players and the coaches.”

Gilich said Wednesday the city would not contribute the $300,000 necessary to meet the June 6 date but said Thursday, “The Shuckers and Yates stepped up today in a spirit of cooperation and we have a deal that is good for all parties. And I’m proud to say it won’t cost the citizens a penny more than already committed to the stadium, and will certainly save hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional fines we potentially faced.”

The agreement, which will be approved at Tuesday’s council meeting, does not increase Biloxi’s financial obligation beyond what the city was already contractually required to pay, the city said.

Biloxi had agreed to a $10,000-per-game penalty for every home game missed this season. As of June 6, Biloxi will owe $250,000 in penalties, and potentially would have owed $240,000 more if the stadium didn’t open before Aug. 4, the date Yates was contracted to complete the stadium.

Bennett said Yates Construction has put in extraordinary time and effort to get the stadium to this point. He and majority team owner Ken Young contributed additional funding to meet the expenses necessary to get a temporary certificate of occupancy for the June 6 opening.

“The Brewers are very excited,” said Bennett, who has talked with the Shuckers’ parent club several times a day. “Yates is very excited.” Now it’s time to get the players and coaches to Biloxi and play ball, he said.

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