The following is a letter that Ocean City resident Vince Gisriel recently sent to Maryland Gov. Wes Moore regarding a proposed sports complex in Worcester County. The letter references another letter Gisriel sent to members of the Ocean City Sports Complex Task Force opposing the project.
Dear Governor Moore,
Enclosed you will find a letter which I wrote in opposition to the proposed Sports Complex which is being planned for the vicinity of Ocean City, Maryland.
The project is estimated to cost at least $166,900,000 or more. The Town of Ocean City intends to fund 20% of the cost, and wants the State of Maryland via the Maryland Stadium Authority to fund 80%. A copy of my enclosed letter was sent to every member of a Task Force which was convened by Mayor Rick Meehan of Ocean City to study the issue.
In 2022, I was asked to chair a Ballot Initiative Committee identified as People For Fiscal Responsibility and organized under the rules established by law under the Maryland State Board of Elections. The committee was formed to place a bond bill in the amount of $11.2 million dollars before the voters of Worcester County, Maryland. In the Spring of 2022, by a slim majority, the Commissioners of Worcester County voted to go to the bond market for the initial funding to build a Sports Complex in the county.
Over seventy volunteers gathered sufficient signatures to place the bill on the ballot in November, 2022. The voters of Worcester County rejected the bond bill in a referendum vote. Not satisfied with the outcome of that vote, the Mayor & City Council of Ocean City began discussions to pursue the matter on their own initiative requesting support and funding from the Stadium Authority.
I have studied this project since 2019, and I am convinced that it is not financially feasible, and it will require ongoing subsidy by local and state government, in a similar way the Ocean City Convention Center operates. I request that you review my letter to the Task Force for a detailed explanation of my opposition.
Upon review of this matter, if and only if, you feel that Maryland needs such a Sports Complex, I submit that it may be more feasible in another area of our state. However, I firmly believe that taxpayer dollars can be better spent on more worthwhile projects.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Vincent dePaul Gisriel, Jr.