Frequently Asked Questions

Question A is a local referendum by petition regarding bond issuances for design and construction costs of a Worcester County Sports Complex. The purpose of this question is to determine whether the County Commissioners may finance a portion of the costs of designing and constructing a Worcester County Sports Complex by issuing a bond.

This question can be answered in three words: Worcester County Children.  This is the essence of our county with Ocean City being the Mid Atlantic’s playground.  Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach and Atlantic City have all invested in sports.  In fact, they are all success! HBO did a REAL SPORTS Documentary on Youth Sports that everyone should view.  

Yes, both the county and the city contracted the Maryland Stadium Authority/Crossroads Consulting for the purpose of the development of a sports complex. In addition, the internal staff of Worcester County comprised of the county administrator, assistant county administrator, planning and zoning director, county attorney, finance director, economic development director and director of recreation and parks reviewed and recommended the project.

The normal opportunities exist for the development of this project.  The State of Maryland offered direct congressionally directed allocations, Program Open Space, Land and Water Conservation grants, etc.  In addition, the county has collected over 2.5 million in funds dedicated toward park development within the county.  Other options include the private sector, Casino Redevelopment Funds (used for Worcester Technical Debt Service) that will expire in one year and available for this project.  The private sector will require a complete plan to propose, however, several prominent businesses withing the county has expressed interest in participating.

The county receives an annual contribution from the state for Program Open Space.  Typically dedicated toward acquisition of land and the development of recreational projects.  Most large recreation projects have been funded within the county that way.  For example, Showell Park in Ocean Pines, John Walter Smith Park in Snow Hill and  Newtown Park in Pocomoke.  The county has received on average $600,000 annually for the past dozen years split between acquisition and development projects.  Certain regulations allow monies to be matched with other grants, splits can be appropriated for development from acquisition and so forth.  Regardless, the county would be required to front any project costs with reimbursements provided based upon the allocation annually. 

No. All studies have indicated that the facility will pay for the operations on an annual basis. It will provide over and above economic value as well. Room Tax, Food Tax, Sales Tax, Jobs, etc.

A project of this size will contribute to Room Tax revenue within every jurisdiction, Food Tax, Sales Tax, Jobs and more. Every part of the county will benefit from the project. The project being centrally located within the county will drive general visitation and tourism throughout.

The county has looked into both Private Funding and private operation of the facility. Once a complete conceptional rendering is produced with a commitment from the county this aspect can be further explored. Private Operators such as Astro Turf, Sports Facilities Management and Eastern Sports Management have been pitched with first two presenting in an open session to the Worcester County Commissioners.

The mission of our county is to provide the best quality of life for us to Live, work and play. We can do this through the creation of new jobs attracting employers with our amenities, etc. In addition, we can provide year-round development, recruitment of businesses with the potential of reducing property tax or at the very minimum create new revenue, new employment, etc. for small business. The area itself will provide an additional competitive advantage for families throughout the region.

Today, we are blessed with a great recreation program in Ocean City and Worcester County. However, Berlin and Pocomoke along with other areas are faced with many challenges in participation for various reasons. Seventy percent of our families within the county are on the “Free and Reduced” meal program with the board of education. The sports complex allows no limits to age, income or race. Local play will be a part of the solution provided. In addition, exposure to travel teams will be readily available for all children within the county. Many thought starters have been kicked around creating a reinvestment program for our youth through tournaments and events. With an indoor and outdoor component, we can address all the needs seasonal with travel, local and special event opportunities.

This project would be the most success project ever conceived within the state. The State of Maryland, Worcester County, Town of Ocean City, Worcester County Board of Education all support the opportunity. The space would compete with any facility within our geographic region. As the staycation effort continues, we are primed to take advantage of this trend with team travel year-round!