Ocean City Today

Resort eyes own sports complex

By Brian Gilliland and Katie Tabeling | Nov 16, 2017

(Nov. 17, 2017) Apparently uncertain about whether Worcester County government will involve itself in the creation of a proposed eight-field outdoor sports complex, Ocean City officials this week took steps to begin planning their own facility.

One issue the county commissioners have debated for years is whether a public-private partnership would be appropriate, while the Ocean City Council wants to assure the resort of a piece of the burgeoning multi-billion-dollar youth sports tournament market.

Ocean City Manager Doug Miller suggested the item during Wednesday’s financial planning session.

“We don’t know if the county is moving forward with this, or if it’s a public-private partnership. But it’s something we should keep on the radar,” he said.

The county has been struggling with the idea as the project developed from an indoor-outdoor facility to becoming focused on outdoor sports, based on studies paid for, in part, with state funding.

The county’s recreation and finance specialists also generated an estimate of potential revenues.

For the first three years of operation, they estimated 12-14 tournaments could be held drawing fewer than 40,000 participants and spectators, and generating between 14,400 and 21,000 hotel stays.

Based on these numbers, the staff projected revenues of $210,000 against $393,000 in expenses, leaving a deficit of $183,000.

For that cost, however, the total impact on the coastal economy shows almost $2.9 million in additional room rentals, $1.8 million in food and beverage sales and about $1.2 million in miscellaneous spending, for nearly $5.9 million in economic activity.




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