Sports Complex not dead yet
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The Mayor & City Council (M&CC) of Ocean City are hosting the Maryland Stadium Authority for a presentation of the Sports Complex Study.
The event will take place at the convention center on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 1 p.m.
As reported on the City Clerk’s website, “The press and public are invited to attend but, please note, there will be no opportunity for public comment.”
This is the ultimate insult.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be just under $167 million.
According to the Town’s Capital Improvement Plan, the M&CC are poised to spend just under $40 million between FY24 and FY27, and yet the public cannot comment.
On top of it, the state of Maryland is being asked to fund over $127 million of the cost; and we, Marylanders, cannot comment. Yes, this is the ultimate insult.
The study is centered around acquisition of the land just west of Stephen Decatur High School.
The voters of Worcester County, in effect, rejected that location last November.
Since then, I have not heard that the Town of Berlin is clamoring to revisit that ill-conceived idea.
As in the 2017 County study by the same consultant, a sports complex is expected to operate at a deficit after a stabilized year of operation.
The earlier study for an outdoor facility suggested that it takes from three to five years to reach a stabilized year of operation.
Even then, they projected an operating loss of approximately 25 percent before taxes, debt service and depreciation.
What about the concern expressed by a number of tournament promoters and producers regarding the oversaturation of the Mid-Atlantic market?
These facilities are being built all over the region. There are at least four such facilities or expansions being considered in Maryland alone.
There are many issues to be addressed and questions to be answered, and the public cannot comment. To the citizens of Ocean City, it is time to wake up before the M&CC spend us into financial oblivion.
Vincent dePaul Gisriel Jr.