Harrison County

Biloxi sues Overtime Sports over ticket sales revenue from C-USA tournament

Gov. Phil Bryant and Tim Bennett shake hands at the ground breaking ceremony for MGM Park, the Biloxi minor league baseball stadium, in January 2014. The City of Biloxi is now suing Bennett over its share of ticket sales from the Conference USA Baseball Tournament games at MGM Park in May.
Gov. Phil Bryant and Tim Bennett shake hands at the ground breaking ceremony for MGM Park, the Biloxi minor league baseball stadium, in January 2014. The City of Biloxi is now suing Bennett over its share of ticket sales from the Conference USA Baseball Tournament games at MGM Park in May. ttisbell@sunherald.com

The City of Biloxi has filed a lawsuit alleging Overtime Sports Management has not paid the city for its share of ticket sales to the recent Conference USA Baseball tournament games at MGM Park.

The lawsuit, filed in Harrison County Court, claims the city is owed $53,167.50.

The lawsuit includes a copy of an agreement in which Overtime Sports agreed to pay the city $2.50 per ticket sold for tournament games at MGM Park on May 24-28.

Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, who pushed to open MGM Park with guidelines in place, threw the first pitch at the C-USA tournament.

“Mayor Gilich said from Day One that he wanted to see operational accountability at MGM Park, and this is part of that continuing effort,” city spokesman Vincent Creel said.

“Other than than, the lawsuit speaks for itself.”

Attorney Tim Holleman, representing Overtime Sports, said he has not reviewed the lawsuit yet.

“Most of the problems are caused by Biloxi Baseball LLC withholding funds from Overtime Sports that are due to the City of Biloxi,” Holleman said.

“I’m confident that we are going to be able to meet with the parties concerned so we can resolve this without involving litigation where everybody would spend a lot of money.”

The city in December sued Biloxi Baseball LLC, owner of the Shuckers, and Overtime Sports for an accounting of stadium revenue and money owed. The city and Overtime Sports settled their dispute in March.

Bennett in May filed a lawsuit alleging the Biloxi Shuckers, Biloxi Baseball LLC, and managing member Ken Young owed him money and had denied him access to the stadium. Holleman said the complaint is set for mediation.

The city’s latest lawsuit says a total of 21,627 tickets were sold to the C-USA games.

Overtime agreed to pay the city $2.50 per ticket for the first 15,344 tickets sold, and $1 per each additional ticket, with the city to receive its share no later than five business days after each game. A surcharge was added for payments made late, the document says.

The complaint includes a June 20 email from Tim Bennett, owner of Overtime and co-owner of the Shuckers, to the city, admitting he owed the money. The email says Overtime was owed its share of concession sales and Spectra Food Services had not made its payment.

Bennett has been credited with helping to bring minor league baseball to Biloxi.

He had held a press conference before the C-USA games, announcing a portion of ticket sales would benefit local charities. A few days before that June 20 email, Bennett gave about $18,000 to about a dozen charitable groups.

A summons issued by the Harrison County Circuit Clerk’s Office on Wednesday gives Overtime 30 days to respond to the lawsuit from the date the lawsuit is delivered.

A lawsuit represents only one side of a complaint.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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