Stephen Decatur High School
Stephen Decatur High School
Future Worcester County Sports Complex
Parcel 89 on Ocean Gateway
95.521 acres, west of Stephen Decatur High School
Following the April 19, 2022 public hearing at Stephen Decatur High School, the Worcester County Commissioners voted to purchase Parcel 89 on Ocean Gateway outside of Berlin to develop a multi-use sports complex for tournaments and public use.
Sports Facilities: 8 to 10 tournament-quality, multipurpose fields
Outdoor Exploration: walking/jogging trails
Playground Facilities: playground with playsets and swings
General Amenities: concessions and public restrooms
Why a Sports Complex
Sports tourism is a $100 billion a year industry, so to keep taxes low and develop new revenues for public infrastructure projects, the concept of developing an outdoor sports complex has been under consideration for some time. In 2017, the Maryland Stadium Authority completed a Crossroads Study (market analysis study) that identified a gap in existing rectangular fields in the region. The study identified a need for a minimum of 8 to 10 tournament-quality, multipurpose fields and other amenities, such as concessions and restrooms.
Development plans are not one-size fits all. Rather, plans depend on a site’s location, size, soil conditions, and a host of other factors. The master planning process was placed on hold until a specific site was selected. With the contract in place to purchase land, next steps will include the following:
· An environmental study to identify potential environmental concerns is currently underway.
· Conduct a traffic study to identify and limit the project’s impact and to determine the best access point onto U.S. Rt. 50.
· Annexation into the Town of Berlin is highly likely. Berlin officials will be included in the planning process early on.
· Work closely with Board of Education officials to identify potential options to improve the Stephen Decatur High School practice fields, which are adjacent to the sports complex property.
· Ocean City officials are interested in placing an indoor facility on the site to compliment the proposed outdoor facility. County staff will work closely with town officials to explore this option.
Community input is a critical component in developing a sports complex that will accommodate a wide variety of recreational activities and organized sports programs and promote healthy lifestyles for those of all ages and fitness levels. During the master planning process, residents will have a voice in determining the types of amenities to be included in this project.
MSA Releases Economic Analysis for a Proposed New Outdoor Sports Field Complex in Worcester County
Worcester County Arena & Outdoor Sports Field Complex Economic Analysis Final Report August 2017
Worcester Study Press Release
Worcester County Arena Market