The Sun Herald
By Michael Newsom
The Port of Gulfport agreed Thursday to allow a company to study placing a sports complex on an approximately 28-acre parcel on the port property.
The vote Thursday by the Port Commission allows the group, known as Overtime Sports, only to study building something there. It doesn't approve construction.
Company owner Tim Bennett, who was one of the partners in relocating the Atlanta Braves AA team to Pearl, told the Sun Herald recently he has been looking for eight years for the right Coast location for a baseball stadium, which could have 5,000 to 7,000 seats. The plan could also involve a family-entertainment venue, which could have a theater, bowling alley and other attractions.
Bennett said after the vote Thursday his group is excited about the prospect of moving forward.
"We're happy with the opportunity and we consider the market to be a viable one," he said. "We are looking forward to continuing our studies towards bringing minor league baseball to the Coast." Bennett had shopped his proposals for a baseball team in Biloxi and D'Iberville, but those didn't work out. The idea of building in Gulfport came up recently and has moved forward on an "aggressive timeline," he said. He has a confidentiality agreement not to name the team that would play there. Port Director Don Allee said after the vote the group would look at property in the north section, near U.S. 90.
"They're going to look at the property and come back with some ideas," Allee said.