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City decides to scrap baseball stadium construction contract

baseball picBILOXI — The Biloxi City Council has canceled its project management contract with Yates Construction for a $36 million minor-league baseball stadium.

It had been planning on bidding by phases but now plans to bid out the entire $36 million project.

Yates officials agreed with the decision. City spokesman Vincent Creel said the city had paid Yates about $100,000 on a contract of up to $4 million.

“The city is doing this in a way they hope will speed up the process and may save money,” Creel said.

He said the city had expected to start work after a deal for the team was finalized in October or November. But the Huntsville Stars AA team’s move was not completed until January. The Huntsville Stars AA is scheduled to start play in Biloxi in April 2015.

City Administrator David Nichols said bids will be solicited soon and a contractor could be hired by the end of June.

Creel said Biloxi faces a penalty of $10,000 per game for each home game the stadium is not ready. The penalty is capped at $70,000 for the first month, April 2015, Creel said, but no cap is in place after that.

The city broke ground Jan. 23 on the $36 million MGM Park. To start construction quickly, the city decided to separately bid each phase of the job rather than drafting specifications for the entire project, Creel said.

“Nobody was willing to commit to the amount of money to have the specifications drawn until we had a contract with the team,” Nichols said.

However, under the segmented construction approach, bids had to be rejected for at least two phases because they were too high. Each bid consumes at least 30 days for advertising.



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