OC Council Approves Partnership For Monster Truck Event

OC Council Approves Partnership For Monster Truck Event
The image above shows a layout for next year’s Monsters of Metal Beach Brawl. The event will feature a pit area to the right of the pier and an arena to the left. Submitted Image

OCEAN CITY – The town will pursue a partnership with a local company to co-produce a monster truck event scheduled for next fall.

On Tuesday, Ocean City Special Events Director Frank Miller presented the Mayor and Council with a request to partner with The Metal Shop, a Delmar-based business, to co-produce the first annual Monsters of Metal Beach Brawl.

Scheduled for Oct. 18-20, Miller said the event would fill a vacant weekend on the special events calendar and offer a family friendly activity that would benefit both the organizer and the town.

“Ultimately, what I want to try to get across today is this is a little different than what we normally bring in front of you in terms of a private event application,” he said. “What we’re going to be looking for here is more of a partnership between the town and the event organizer.”

During a presentation Tuesday, Miller told the council the monster truck event would be held between Cruisin weekend and Sunfest weekend next October.

He said the event would utilize a portion of the Sunfest grounds, located on the Inlet parking lot, as well as the downtown beach located just north of the pier.

“There will be an access road between the two locations, it goes underneath the pier …,” he explained. “The monster trucks will fit under that pier in terms of height and width.”

Miller said the event would feature both a pit area and an arena, which would accommodate more than 5,000 people using grandstands. While the endeavor would be costly, he said he was proposing a partnership with the Metal Shop.

“This really is all about partnerships …,” he said. “We would share in the time and financial investments, as well as the profits.”

In terms of safety, Miller said monster trucks would not reach speeds of more than 45 mph. He added that the arena would also have a 100-foot buffer between the grandstands and the racecourse.

“It’s all about safety first,” he said.

The Metal Shop’s Rick Disharoon said the trucks themselves are also equipped with safety features, including fire suppression systems and shutoff mechanisms. When asked about noise, he said all trucks were equipped with mufflers.

Councilman Frank Knight questioned if the event would be contained to the Inlet parking lot and downtown beach. Officials said there would be a parade from the convention center to the pit area at the Inlet parking lot. They noted the monster trucks would be transported on open flatbed trucks.

“If they didn’t buy a ticket, it might entice them to buy a ticket,” Disharoon said.

Mayor Rick Meehan praised the event, but shared his concerns about the activities it could generate throughout town.

“Does this have the potential to turn into a motor vehicle event throughout town?” he said. “Following Cruisin, the followers of this event, are we going to have Coastal Highway full of jacked up pickup trucks and a lot of that going on throughout town? That’s something we should be concerned about, or at least be aware of as part of the approval.”

Miller acknowledged Meehan’s concerns but noted that some elements of the monster truck event, such as alcohol, had been eliminated to ensure a family friendly atmosphere.

“As a standalone monster truck event, you are going to find these are more families that are coming to it and not so much those other entities,” he replied.

Councilman Peter Buas questioned if the event would use town staff.

“I just want to make sure it doesn’t fall back on public works,” he said. “Whatever the partnership is, there needs to be the appropriate third parties to do it.”

Councilman Will Savage agreed.

“We keep tacking on more and more events especially in the fall, which is fine, we want to expand to be a year-round event,” he said. “But we only have limited resources with our public works, our police, our fire.”

With no further discussion, the council voted 7-0 to approve a partnership for the Monsters of Metal Beach Brawl and to have the town co-produce with a terms sheet to be presented in January.

“We’ll come in front of you with a lot more details in the terms sheet,” Miller said.

The council on Tuesday also approved a request to hold the Race World Offshore Boat Race June 7-9, 2024.

Miller said the event would feature an offshore race area from Sunset Avenue to 29th Street, a dry pit area at the convention center and a wet pit area at Sunset Marina. Since the layout spans into West Ocean City, Miller said the event must seek approval from Worcester County.

“We would be going in front of the county with an application, which would get sent to their consent agenda,” he explained.

Miller added that the event would also feature a parade and block party, which would include alcohol sales, and two days of racing. With no further discussion, the council voted to approve the target date in June, pursue the appropriate county applications and to continue developing an execution plan and terms sheet, which will be presented in January.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.