With the Mississippi Coast Coliseum losing the fight for access to their trust fund, the expansion plans are facing some hurdles. The Coliseum was hoping to use $1 million from their trust fund to build a new parking lot north of the Coliseum. The new parking lot would replace an overflow parking lot, slated to be the site for a new hotel. Plans for the hotel have not yet been interrupted, but the Coliseum may have to delay construction to ensure there is still enough parking. One big event that is depending on the overflow parking lot is the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (M.G.C.C.C.) graduation. M.G.C.C.C. used to have ceremonies at each individual campus, but about 14 years ago, decided to hold a joint graduation at the Coliseum.
Jason Pugh, the Vice President of M.G.C.C.C., says, “We typically have about 900 to 1,000 walkers each year. We have 300 to 400 faculty members who are present to support them, and then of course our administrative staff. So we do have a large contingent of folks in the Coliseum, and of course they bring their friends and families.” Pugh says that having all graduates in one location makes the event a more powerful place. However, if additional parking is not available to participants, the graduation ceremony may not go as smoothly as it has in previous years. M.G.C.C.C. and any other big vendors would have to find satellite parking, or possibly even another location to hold their event.