The Biloxi Shuckers came into being with the transfer of the Huntsville Stars to Biloxi following the 2014 season. The unique name of the team is a nod to the long history and economic importance of the seafood industry in the Biloxi area. More than 65,000 locals voted on the team name in a contest sponsored by the team during the offseason. The ownership group of the team has a great deal of experience in minor league ball, as they also own the Albuquerque Isotopes, Norfolk Tides, Bowie Bay Sox and the Frederick Keys. The team plays in the Southern League, which includes the Mississippi Braves, the Mobile BayBears, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Birmingham Barons, the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Jackson Generals, the Montgomery Biscuits and the Jacksonville Suns. The team serves as the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Home field to the Shuckers is MGM Park, with the naming rights going to the Beau Rivage Casino located directly across the street from the stadium. The stadium was constructed in less than a year, right in the middle of Biloxi’s entertainment, casino and lodging district, just two blocks from the Gulf of Mexico. The designers of the field chose Gulf blue, sand, coral and black as the primary colors of the stadium to mimic the beaches, the water and the sunsets on the nearby waterfront. The stadium has a capacity of 5,000 in seatback seating, with room for another 1,500 people on the grass berm in right field. A majority of seats in the park face south to take advantage of the gorgeous Gulf sunsets over the outfield walls.
Due to the proximity of the field to the Gulf and the possibility of storm surge from one of the area’s hurricanes, the stadium bowl is elevated, with only the field at ground level. When you enter the facility, you will be on a concourse featuring the various concessions, restroom facilities, team store and information booths. All seating, except for the 12 skyboxes and the Mercedes Benz Clubhouse, is below the concourse level. The field is natural grass, as the temperatures are mild throughout the year, and the area gets plenty of rain.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
When you see the vast number of options for food and beverage at MGM Park, you won't be surprised to learn that the owners operate the largest stadium food and beverage supply company in the country. You will definitely find the usual foods, such as hot dogs ($4), hamburgers ($6), peanuts ($4) and popcorn ($4.50). What is truly unique at MGM Park is its offering of foods from the Gulf area. This is done for two reasons: 1) it is very good and 2) it helps the local fishing community, which has gone through some hard times with both Katrina and the BP oil spill in recent years. Among the Gulf delicacies to choose from are peel-and-eat shrimp ($8), po' boys featuring shrimp, oysters and other marine life at $6, and Garlic Butter Grilled Oysters ($8), along with boudin and jambalaya for $8. Coca Cola products are used for most of the soft drink selections, with a soda priced at $4 and water for $3. There is one exception to this rule: Barq's Root beer started in Biloxi more than 100 years ago and still is going strong. Make sure you order one of their root beer floats. ($6)
Alcoholic beverages are readily available at a cost of $8, or $10 for a 20-ounce cup. A beer garden is located along the first base line with domestic, imported and house beers. Make sure you try out the Lazy Magnolia, a local favorite.
To really prepare for the food offerings at MGM Park check out their website for a map and description of each concession stand's offerings. You will also enjoy the names of the various food stands, which include the Aw Shucks Grill, Shuck n' Cluck and Foul Ball Franks.
The ownership's expertise in running Minor League Baseball franchises is very apparent when you attend a game at MGM Park. The staff at the park is well-trained and helpful, which is a necessity with a brand new park. The team does a great job in fan involvement, as competitions are held between innings, and birthdays and significant anniversaries are recognized. The owners really took the fans' input in naming the team through a contest, which really created an instant bond between the team and the community. The team also works closely with the youth leagues and military installations, as each game features a salute to a military family in the area.
The audio-visual package at the stadium is also very professional. The sound system is great, and the team only plays music between half-innings, which is nice, compared to the overkill of each player having their own song played before each at bat. The HD scoreboard in right field does a great job in providing speed of pitches, pitch counts and other statistical info fans are interested in, while also having instant replay capabilities.
You can expect a very enjoyable atmosphere when attending a Shuckers game.
MGM Park is located at the crossroads of all of the things that make Biloxi a great city. You are located in the middle of casino row, with the Beau Rivage and Hard Rock Casinos located across the street from the ballpark. Just two blocks from the stadium is the Gulf of Mexico and its great beach activities. The park is located adjoining I-110, the fastest route to get you into town from I-10, the primary east/west interstate in Mississippi. The park is also bordered by Beach Boulevard (Highway 90), which offers quick access to the many restaurants and lodging choices in the area, as well as a scenic route to visit New Orleans. Lodging within blocks of the field includes the Best Western Oak Grove and the Beau Rivage Casino and Resort. For your dining pleasure, Mary Mahoney's Seafood House is a local favorite.
Adventures Pub is a good destination for a quick bite or a drink before the game. They serve southern style pub food, including oysters, and offer $4 pints from 4pm-7pm.
Biloxi offers some great demographics for any potential sports teams. The fan base runs from the youngest child, who attends on a regular basis with their family, to a family just in the area for a few days on vacation, to a huge retirement population that has enjoyed baseball for decades. You will see generations of a family watching a game together -- an owner's dream.
The retirement-age fans are quite loyal, as they have an in-depth knowledge of the players, keep scorecards for every game and have the time and resources to be season ticket holders. For local fans with families, the Shuckers offer a great night at the ballpark, and for tourists it is yet another item to add to their vacation itinerary. Another excellent facet of Biloxi's location is that it is within easy driving distance of such teams as the Mississippi Braves (Pearl is only 60 miles from Biloxi) and the Mobile BayBears. Many opposing teams' fans are in evidence at games, as they are checking out the new stadium.
Since the team is new to the area, the fans are still in the "getting to know you" stage in their fan fervor. They definitely support the home team, as virtually every game has been a sellout thus far, but they have not created a team cheer or identified a favorite team player yet. This will come as the team gets further into its time in Biloxi.
MGM Park is easily reached via Highway 90 (Beach Boulevard) or I-110, so driving to the park is a snap. The nearest airport is Gulfport/Biloxi (GPT) and is only 15 miles from the stadium. Free parking is readily available in the Beau Rivage's parking deck across the street from the park. The concourse area is well laid out and is wide enough to allow a good flow within the stadium. The seats offer plenty of legroom and excellent views of the field.
The one glaring difficulty is in entering the park itself. MGM Park was constructed on a very tight deadline, with the first game in the park not actually taking place until the mid-season break in 2015 (the Shuckers won the title for the first half of the season, despite being "on the road" the entire time). At present, the only entry into the park is via a gate at the top of some steep stairs along the third baseline. An elevator is provided for the disabled, elderly or those with strollers. This creates a real bottleneck as you enter onto the concourse. This gate is also at the end of the stadium furthest away from the main parking lot at the Beau Rivage. You have to walk in the street to do this, as sidewalks have not been put in yet outside of the stadium. This situation should disappear quickly once the final external areas of the stadium are completed.
A second large entry gate located in center field is still under construction, as is an adjoining parking deck. This entryway, once finished, will provide immediate access into the stadium at the Beach Boulevard intersection and will provide a much more gradual ramp into the park rather than stairs. Work should be completed in time for the 2016 season, and will significantly improve the access into MGM Park and also result in a much higher score for this section.
Depending on what lodging you choose, a trip to Biloxi and a Shuckers game can fit a family budget. A room in one of the casino hotels or beachfront properties can cost $150-$200 a night. There are many more economical hotels in the nearby cities of Gulfport and Ocean Springs, where accommodations fall more in the $80 range. Parking is free at the Beau Rivage parking deck and you do not need to worry about eating out before or after the game, as MGM Park has the most diverse food offerings of any minor league stadium I have been to, and the prices are reasonable. Ticket prices range from $27 (full price) to $10 with a discount if you buy them in advance, and the berm seating offers a great view for $10. Seniors, children 12 and under and military get a $1 discount.
The first thing I want to mention about the extras is that this city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. More than 180 locals lost their lives in this storm, and it is amazing how much Biloxi has rebounded.
Among the things that make a trip to Biloxi unique are: 1) The beach is only two blocks from MGM Park. Known popularly as the Redneck Riviera, the beaches offer miles of area to swim, sunbathe, fish and enjoy a variety of beach sports. There is no evidence of the BP oil spill disaster that struck this area just a few short years ago. 2) The home of the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, is located just three miles from MGM Park. The estate, named Beauvoir for its beautiful view of the Gulf, is on the National Historic Register. No matter how you feel about the Civil War, this is a well-preserved home of the antebellum era, and gives you a fascinating view of what life was like in the 1860's. 3) If you like games of chance, Biloxi offers 12 casinos within a five-mile radius of the ballpark. 4) Music fans will enjoy many of the blues clubs and casino concert offerings featuring some of the top singers in the country. 5) And last but not least, the Biloxi Lighthouse. This structure was constructed in 1848 and has survived the Civil War and more than 20 hurricanes. It is only three blocks from MGM Park on Beach Boulevard. You can't miss it... it is the only lighthouse located in the median of a highway in the world!
In a way, the arrival of the Shuckers is a symbol of the resilience of Biloxi to come back from both the BP and Katrina disasters.
A temperate climate, miles of beaches, casinos, great baseball and a brand new stadium make this a "must-do" on your baseball stadium list. To paraphrase an old saying, "Biloxi is your oyster"... so come on down and enjoy Shuckers ball!
I made my first visit to MGM Park to watch the Shucker take on the Chattanooga lookouts. The friends I went with and I had a blast.
The fun started before the game as we hung out at Zepplins in Biloxi. Parking downtown and playing trivia for a bit and eating good food was a great way to get ready for the game. From downtown Biloxi and the Vieux Marche, parking and walking to the game is a simple, ten-minute walk. There are all kinds of great places in the area including the Ole' Biloxi Fillin Station, the Voodoo Cantina and more.
At the game, the atmosphere is great. We watched part of the game from our seats, but we spent most of the game in the concourse area, standing around and watching with with several others that we ran into at the game. With the Shuckers being a hot item right now, you will run into people you know from the Coast.
The only real knock on the Shuckers is the amount of money they want for season tickets. I believe they may be the highest in the Southern League. That's too bad.
One word of caution, STAY ALERT IN YOUR SEATS. The protective netting only extends around the backstop. There may be plans to expand it, but until they do, expect foul balls to come near you. I saw two young children get popped by foul balls in two innings. An adult just narrowly missed it as well.
The Biloxi Shuckers are in its 2nd year of Minor League Baseball after being in Huntsville for 30. When the announcement was brought that there would be baseball in Biloxi, MGM Park took longer than expected and didn't play baseball until mid June of the Shuckers' first season, which meant all their "home" games were on the road including their old stomping grounds in Huntsville and Jackson, MS (Mississippi Braves Trustmark Park).
In their new digs, Biloxi is more of substance over style as the park is nothing really to stand out. In fact, it is rather bland architecturally.
THE POSITIVES: The ballpark has an excellent range of food, from seafood to Mexican to barbecue. I had a Double Play Po Boy, with oysters and shrimp and it was fresh. It tasted excellent though make sure you get napkins. Also had a root beer float, which not too big for a mug, but still had a nice taste to it. I heard the barbecue stand was to die for but didn't get a chance to try. The fans are incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and very supportive of the team as well, applauding them on hustle plays and being into the game. For before and after game grub, you really can't go wrong. If you want more upscale, you can try the restaurants inside the Beau Rivage or walk down a bit to the Hard Rock Cafe or you have the Half Shell Oyster House. If you want something a bit typical before game, there is Bacchus, which has some nice brews and good food. Also, the seating is excellent as there are no sightline issues nor obstructions. The seats are also spacious to move around in and have decent leg room.
THE NEGATIVES: It is just the structural problems. It isn't really lovely in terms of what it looks like. And the outfield seems to be thrown together with a couple of big scoreboards. There is a parking deck right behind right field, but I heard it costs $10 which is too much. There are only 2 gates to the entire park (LF & CF) as there is no entrance nor exit for fans who have seats behind home plate. You also cannot walk around the entire park, inside or out, which makes it somewhat feels like they put it in a cramped area.
Attended on a cool, wet Monday so fans were not out as much as usual, but lots of Shucker merchandise was being worn. Ballpark is very efficient, with all concessions close by, so you can do a quick menu scan without having to walk all around. Plenty of local offerings. Great bar nearby known as Adventures, with $4 IPA pints from 4-7, perfect for those 7:10 starts. As park is new, still has to form some history. Love the standing areas with small tables to rest your meal and scorebook. Get the $10 berm ticket and use these for a while before finding a seat. Only view of the Gulf is from the upper level along first base. All in all, a very nice park that will become better as the team settles in.
709 Howard Ave
Biloxi, MS 39530
131 Lameuse St
Biloxi, MS 39530
692 Howard Ave
Biloxi, MS 39530
871 Howard Ave
Biloxi, MS 39530
125 Lameuse St
Biloxi, MS 39530