MGM Park is a baseball park in Biloxi, Mississippi. The home of the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers of the Double-A South, it opened on June 6, 2015, and can seat up to 6,067 people. The stadium was the site of the 2019 Southern League All-Star Game. Though primarily a venue for Minor League Baseball, it has been the home of the Conference USA Baseball Tournament since 2017. Concerts have also been held at the venue.
|Former names||Caillavet Park (planning)|
|Location||105 Caillavet Street|
|Owner||City of Biloxi|
|Record attendance||6,231 (July 3, 2015; Biloxi Shuckers vs. Mississippi Braves)|
|Field size||Left field: 325 ft (99 m)|
Left-center field: 350 ft (110 m)
Center field: 401 ft (122 m)
Right-center field: 350 ft (110 m)
Right field: 325 ft (99 m)
|Surface||Bermuda Tifway 419 grass|
|Broke ground||January 23, 2014|
|Opened||June 6, 2015|
|Construction cost||$36 million|
($39.4 million in 2020 dollars)
|Architect||Dale Partners Architects P. A.|
|Structural engineer||Joe DeReuil Associates, LLC|
|General contractor||W. G. Yates & Sons|
|Biloxi Shuckers (SL/DAS) 2015–present|
Planning and constructionEdit
In January 2014, Ken Young purchased a majority interest in the Huntsville Stars, a Double-A Minor League Baseball team of the Southern League. He planned to relocate the franchise from Huntsville, Alabama, to Biloxi, Mississippi, for the 2015 season. The team remained in Huntsville through the 2014 season while a new ballpark was built. Upon arrival in Mississippi, the team would become known as the Biloxi Shuckers in reference to the city's oyster industry and seafood heritage.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on January 23, 2014, before the Biloxi City Council approved the project's construction. Their final approval came on May 9, 2014, when they voted unanimously, without public discussion, to cancel its project management contract with Yates Construction. Because of this, the expected completion date of the ballpark was pushed from April 2015 to May 17, 2015. The city had decided to "separately bid each phase" of construction "rather than drafting specifications for the entire project", but the council instead would "bid the entire project". Yates Construction was awarded the new contract via a 5–2 vote by the Biloxi City Council on July 22, 2014.
Tenants and eventsEdit
Minor League BaseballEdit
Due to construction delays, the Shuckers played the first 54 games of their inaugural 2015 season on the road. The team's MGM Park home opener was played on June 6, 2015, versus the Mobile BayBears, a 4–3 victory. Going into extra innings, Nick Shaw singled home Brent Suter from second base in the bottom of the fourteenth inning to secure the win. The inaugural home opener was attended by 5,065 people. The stadium's single-game attendance record was set later that season when 6,231 people saw Biloxi defeated by the Mississippi Braves, 4–3, on July 3.
On April 2, 2016, the ballpark was the site of an exhibition game between the Shuckers and their Major League Baseball (MLB) affiliate, the Milwaukee Brewers. Players appearing for the Brewers in the game included Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Jonathan Villar, Martín Maldonado, and Chase Anderson. The 7–4 Milwaukee win was attended by 5,152 people. This was the first time a major league team played in Biloxi since the 1938 Philadelphia Phillies held spring training at Biloxi Stadium.
Shuckers pitchers threw the first no-hitter in franchise history on August 14, 2017, at MGM Park. Hiram Burgos (2 IP), Forrest Snow (3 IP), Nick Ramirez (1 IP), and Jorge López (1 IP) combined for the effort in the second game of a seven-inning doubleheader against the Tennessee Smokies, a 1–0 win.
MGM Park hosted the Southern League All-Star Game on June 18, 2019. The North Division All-Stars defeated the South Division All-Stars, 7–3, with 4,209 people on hand. Luis Robert of the Birmingham Barons was selected as the game's Most Valuable Player. Jeffrey Baez of the Jackson Generals won the previous day's Home Run Derby.
The stadium layout is organized around the concourse level that wraps around the field and includes concessions, a lounge and a team store. The majority of the seating is located below the concourse level with 12 suites situated above the concourse.
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- Biloxi Shuckers Media Guide 2019, p. 12.
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- "MGM Park, Biloxi, Mississippi". Dale Partners Architects P. A. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "Projects: Unique Structures". Joe DeReuil Associates, LLC. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- Perez, Mary (July 22, 2014). "Biloxi Stadium Construction Could Start in a Week". Sun Herald. Biloxi. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- Biloxi Shuckers Media Guide 2019, p. 99.
- Reichard, Kevin (January 11, 2014). "It's Official: Huntsville Stars Sold, Expected to Move to Biloxi in 2015". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- McCarter, Mark (January 10, 2014). "Southern League Makes it Official: Huntsville Stars' Sale and Move to Biloxi Approved". The Huntsville Times. Advance Publications. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- Doyle, Steve (November 24, 2014). "Baseball on the Half Shell: Huntsville Stars are Now the Biloxi Shuckers". The Huntsville Times. Advance Publications. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- Lee, Anita (May 9, 2014). "Biloxi Cancels Construction Management Deal, Seeks Contractor for Baseball Stadium". Sun Herald. Archived from the original on May 13, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- Brannan, Jonathan (May 27, 2014). "Biloxi Baseball Stadium Completion Date Pushed Back". MS News Now. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
- Reichard, Kevin (September 24, 2014). "It's Official: New Biloxi Ballpark to Be MGM Park". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
- Fleming, David (August 17, 2015). "On the Road Again..." ESPN. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- Biloxi Shuckers Media Guide 2019, p. 113.
- "Brewers Defeat Shuckers 7-4 in Saturday Exhibition". WLOX. Gray Media Group. April 2, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- "Brewers to Play exhibition in Biloxi on Saturday, April 2". Milwaukee Brewers. Major League Baseball. October 20, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- Biloxi Shuckers Media Guide 2019, p. 136.
- Maun, Tyler (August 15, 2017). "Four Shuckers Spin Team's First No-Hitter". Southern League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- "Tennessee vs. Biloxi - August 14, 2017". Minor League Baseball. August 14, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- "SOU North All-Stars vs. SOU South All-Stars Box Score - 06/18/19". Minor League Baseball. June 18, 2019. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Vilona, Bill (June 18, 2019). "Robert Puts on Show at All-Star Game". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Clay, Patrick (May 3, 2019). "C-USA Baseball Tournament Set to Return to Biloxi in 2020". WLOX. Gray Media Group. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
- "Biloxi Shuckers 2019 Media Guide" (PDF). Biloxi Shuckers. Minor League Baseball. 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2020.