Harrison County

Biloxi sues Shuckers’ owners over baseball stadium payments

Chattanooga shortstop Heiker Menesses dives over Biloxi's Parker Berberet during a double play to end the third inning of their Southern League game at MGM Park in Biloxi on Thursday July 16, 2015.
Chattanooga shortstop Heiker Menesses dives over Biloxi's Parker Berberet during a double play to end the third inning of their Southern League game at MGM Park in Biloxi on Thursday July 16, 2015. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

The honeymoon is over after two seasons of minor league baseball, with the city filing a lawsuit Monday in Chancery Court against Biloxi Baseball and Overtime Sports Management, owners of the Biloxi Shuckers.

The city says in the lawsuit that it has been unable to determine how much Biloxi Baseball owes the city for rent, advertising and ticket sales under a stadium lease because Biloxi Baseball and Overtime Sports has failed to account for its sales.

Biloxi Baseball has paid the city $146,450 in rent through Oct. 1, claiming it is due a discount of $153,550 under the terms of the lease. The city denies the discount, or “offset” is owed.

The city says Biloxi Baseball has failed, despite requests from the city, to account for ticket sales, video-board advertising and other advertising for which the city is supposed to receive compensation under the lease.

More than 5,000 fans experienced the Milwaukee Brewers - Biloxi Shuckers baseball game.

“As a result of Biloxi Baseball’s actions and/or inactions,” the lawsuit says, “the city has been unable to verify the amounts that it is owed.”

The city also says Biloxi Baseball has failed to pay utilities for the stadium’s main video board.

In addition, the city says, Biloxi Baseball said in an application for a tourism tax-rebate program that it would spend $20 million to acquire and relocate the team, but the city has been able to document only $16.5 million in expenses.

The city wants a court-ordered accounting of proceeds the companies have taken in from the stadium and payment of any amounts owed.

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