Mobile city leaders are looking at a home for Mardi Gras balls after the Mobile Civic Center is torn down.

Tuesday morning, the mayor announced one possible location.

A committee will choose one of two potential redevelopment groups to transform the Civic Center site.

City officials believe the Civic Center will still be able to be a home for Mardi Gras balls for 2020 but, after that, plans need to be made.

It's been one of the biggest questions for Mardi Gras organizations: where will balls be held in the future?

Mayor Sandy Stimpson addressed the issue before the city council Tuesday.

The mayor told the council, "It's inevitable, at some point, the Civic Center will come down and, during that period when its down and whatever will be put in its place, we've got to have a place to put these balls."

Stimpson said the city wants to be prepared for Mardi Gras 2021 with a facility that will be able to hold Mardi Gras balls.

He said, "The idea is that there will probably be a three to four year period that that facility would be used. It turns out that the most viable facility is what's called '23 East,' out at the Brookley Aero complex. It's a pre-World War II warehouse."

Stimpson says the warehouse is about 180 feet wide by 900 feet long and is already being used for receptions and activities.

He said, "We've got a drawing and, you take a circle that depicts the Civic Center and you can put about six of those circles in that warehouse."

Stimpson said he, three city council members, and members of different Mardi Gras organizations went to New Orleans Monday to look at a similar warehouse that holds Mardi Gras balls and builds floats.

John Williams was one of the council members.

He said, "The feedback was good. This was a trip where we reached out to everyone we could think of and invited them to come and see."

The mayor admitted the move would present some challenges.

He said, "I think the biggest challenge is the location and the logistics of how do you get off a float and get to '23 East.' And that's just got to be worked out."

Right now, the mayor says there's no dollar figure, but thinks transformation of the facility could be done in phases.

City officials say the next step is getting feedback, especially from Mardi Gras organizations.

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