Worcester A Future Home For Minor League Ice Hockey Team? County, State To Study Possibility

Worcester A Future Home For Minor League Ice Hockey Team? County, State To Study Possibility

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Commissioners have agreed to further study the possibility of building a 6,200-seat, indoor multi-purpose sports complex to support a minor league hockey team in the northern part of the county, among other activities, as well as an additional outdoor venue to support it.

Worcester County Economic Development Director Bill Badger told the commissioners that last summer his department by contacted by Hat Trick Consultants of Grapevine, Texas “to discuss their interest in building a 6,200-seat arena outside of Ocean City to attract a minor league hockey franchise.”

According to paperwork, the proposed arena “would serve as a multipurpose facility, thereby attracting professional sports franchises, concerts, high school and/or college basketball teams, lacrosse tournaments, conventions, boxing matches, horseback riding events, business meetings and other sporting events.”

An arena study was conducted and projected 125 events a year with over 400,000 attendees and 100 full-time jobs. The commissioners received the study last summer as did the Maryland Stadium Authority.

With HTC conducted the early study at its own expense, Badger recommended the commissioners this week support a MSA study to confirm the HTC findings and review the impact of this facility on nearby facilities, like the Roland E. Powell Convention Center and the Wicomico Civic Center. Additionally, Badger asked the county to consider an outdoor complex to complement the indoor area, bolstering its partnership in the new Maryland Sports Marketing Alliance.

Total cost of the study is expected to be between $15,000 and $25,000.

The commissioners voted 4-3 to approve the study with Commissioners Bud Church, Joe Mitrecic, Ted Elder and Jim Bunting in support and Commissioners Merrill Lockfaw, Diana Purnell and Chip Bertino against.

Full story to come.