The Southern League was building a brand new ballpark in Pearl MS, just outside of Jackson. The stadium would open in 2005 and most likely draw all of the fans of the region, to the "new and exciting" Mississippi Braves. While a new Double-A ballpark certainly wasn't a bad thing, it did mean an uncertain future for Smith Wills Stadium. The Senators still fielded a team for 2005 and did manage to pull in 68,000 fans. The team even signed an extension until 2009, but the CBL itself would call it quits. Most of the teams would merge over to the new American Association, but Jackson wouldn't be invited. It looked like Smith Wills Stadium had run its course.