OC Estimates 3,500 People Per Day At New Monster Truck Event

OCEAN CITY – Resort officials this week voted to approve a monster truck event slated for next fall.

On Tuesday, Special Events Director Frank Miller presented the Mayor and Council with the term sheet for the first annual Monsters of Metal Beach Brawl to take place on the downtown beach Oct. 18-20. While the council recently voted to pursue a partnership with the promoter – The Metal Shop – to produce the fall event, Miller told officials this week the relationship between the town and Monsters of Metal had been modified.

“This was in two parts,” Miller explained. “One was to help reduce liability and risk on the town and also to help make things a little bit easier in how we manage the relationship, especially the financial aspect of the relationship.”

In December, representatives with The Metal Shop, a Delmar-based business, came before the council with a proposal to hold a monster truck event that would fill a vacant weekend on the fall special events calendar. Utilizing a portion of the Inlet parking lot, as well as the downtown beach located just north of the pier, the Monsters of Metal Beach Brawl would feature a pit area and arena, grandstands and more.

At that time, the council agreed to move forward with a partnership with The Metal Shop and to have staff draft a term sheet outlining the responsibilities of each party. In an update Tuesday, Miller said the term sheet presented included an agreement to bring the Monsters of Metal Beach Brawl to Ocean City the next three years.

“We are looking to allow this to be a three-year effort,” he explained. “This agreement that we would be putting together would be for three years including dates in 2025 and 2026.”

Miller told the council the term sheet also included a schedule of events as well as a list of the town’s responsibilities, including coordination of emergency and life safety operations and consultation on the event budget.

“We’ll also be participating in the production of the non-race team event elements that’ll take place in the pit area as well as the race arena,” he explained. “On the production side, we are still maintaining the opportunity to produce and sell on site the program guide that would be at the event. So that is still an opportunity for the town to make some funds on top of the ticket share that exists.”

Miller said the promoter would be responsible for infrastructure procurement, racecourse layout, an event operations plan, and more.

“As you go down a little bit further onto the producer responsibilities, we do have a shared effort in attempting to secure volunteers and general staff related to the event area,” he added. “So if there’s something that we can assist with, with conversations with nonprofits or whatever it may be, we’re happy to step in to help coordinate, which is something we did with the air show very early on in its inception.”

In terms of fees, Miller said the town would provide a $50,000 tourism grant for team bookings and $60,000 for event expenses in the first year. He said the town would also receive a per-ticket payment from the producer.

“When the event is completed, the producer will be reimbursed for all the event expenses,” he told the council. “This is following the payout of the ticket share revenue to the town. Once those are covered and they’re made whole, then the producer and the town share 50/50 on any residual net profit leftover at that point to pay off the $60,000 that we had provided up front. So depending on how much they make, there’s an opportunity here for them to continue to have a net profit go to them and us to cover our cost. That continues on, if there’s still money left over, to cover the $50,000 grant funding. So we end up getting made whole over the long term.”

Council President Matt James questioned the number of available tickets. Miller said it has yet to be determined.

 “We changed the budget figures in our last conversation with them to look at estimating a lower number,” he replied. “Even with that lower number, we’re still able to recoup our money if that comes to fruition. We’re expecting it to be higher and that was estimated, I believe, at 3,500 people attending per day.”

Councilman John Gehrig said the event promoter had presented an event that would bring in the best monster truck teams. He questioned if that was still the case.

The Metal Shop’s Jaclyn Disharoon Cooper said every effort was being made to secure top talent. She said the producer considered several factors – including availability and stunt skills – when selecting drivers and teams.

“We try to work with a lot of family teams because we are a family business,” she said.

Mayor Rick Meehan questioned revenue estimates for the coming year’s event. Miller said gross revenues are estimated at $517,000.

“That’s beyond just ticket sales,” he said. “That also includes sponsorships.”

Disharoon Cooper said sponsorships were something she was focused on, as it would help cover event expenses. She said she wanted the town to see a return on its investment.

“Our intention in bringing this event isn’t just to benefit us as a company, but we also want to benefit the town,” she said. “So everything that we’re going to be doing, we will have the town’s best interest in mind because this is our hometown too. I mean, we’re right outside of it in Delmar. I used to live here. Everything that we do, we’re going to be trying to push revenue your way as well.”

After further discussion on truck teams and staffing, the council voted 6-0, with Councilman Will Savage absent, to approve the Monsters of Metal Beach Brawl event as presented.