This executive summary will identify Bader Field Sports understanding of the city’s request, and identify proposed solutions while highlighting key benefits and cost consideration to the city. The summary will also state what Bader Field Sports, LLC (“BFS”) believes to be the city’s primary objectives for redevelopment of Bader Field. Lastly, this executive summary will articulate a clear and cohesive vision for Bader field, and describe how the proposal meets those objectives while also identifying special benefits to the city and community.
The project proposed by BFS is the ideal use for the property on a temporary long-term basis and will provide immediate and sustainable benefits to Atlantic City and its residents. BFS will immediately reactivate the property by creating ratables via a temporary lease of the property, and simultaneously promote tourism by restoring the site to an attractive and welcoming environment for families. It is important to note that BFS’s proposed use of the property is consistent with concepts envisioned and presented by City officials and the City’s consultant, Maser Consulting P.A. of Red Bank.
Like the City, BFS foresees a phased approach for the overall redevelopment of the Bader field site. BFS proposes reactivating the site by building a world-class facility that would host, amongst other things, year-round youth sports tournaments as well as bring back professional sports to Atlantic City in the now under-utilized former baseball stadium known as AC Surf/Sandcastle stadium.
There are significant benefits to Atlantic City from the BFS proposal. The BFS Complex would attract brand-new visitors Atlantic City – not just the players participating on the field, but also their immediate (and extended) families who traditionally travel to such destination tournaments, coaching and support staffs, college scouts, and the umpires, referees and other professionals required to manage and execute these world-class events. This is a COMPLETELY new target market for the City, which would be drawn to the area specifically for the BFS Complex and Atlantic City.
Initial projections indicate that the proposed Bader Field Sports complex will generate over $500 million in spending in the local economy over a five (5) year period. BFS estimated that by year 5 there will be approximately 85,000 annual room nights directly related to the events BFS will host at the new proposed world class sports facility. (See attachment #2 Economic Impacts).
Notably, the City would immediately benefit from the BFS project, without forfeiting future development. The BFS project enables the City to benefit from the site while, at the same time, allowing for the potential development of other, more lucrative, options when the economic climate improves.
BFS project would provide the following direct and indirect local impacts:
Over $20 million capital investment to bring the land into compliance with FEMA standards.
85,000 hotel room nights annually, as well as restaurant meal, bar tabs, shopping, etc., for the thousands of athletes, their families and supports staffs that would come to Bader Field Sports complex in Atlantic City to participate in year round tournaments.
Hundreds of construction jobs building the site, as well as permanent on-site operational jobs.
Attraction and relocation of large-scale annual events, such as youth baseball and softball coach conventions.
Profit-sharing and rent payments.
Increased regional, national and international exposure of Atlantic City.
Assuming the award is made as now scheduled in May, BFS could begin hosting conventions in Atlantic City as early as January 2016, and hosting tournaments in Spring 2016. Given the extensive experience of the BFS team, the goal of beginning operation in 2016, while aggressive, is attainable. As is detailed in this proposal, the BFS team consists of highly qualified professionals with unparalleled experience in the fields of:
1) Engineering and Site Remediation Work;
2) Sports Complex Development and Operations; and
3) Real Estate and Land Use, specifically in Atlantic City.
As noted in section 3.2 above the BFS team has considerable expertise in developing world class sporting facilities; specifically the construction of more than 200 sports fields throughout New Jersey over the last 15 years, including MetLife Stadium (host of the Super Bowl and home of the National Football League’s New York Giants and Jets) and five playing fields at Rutgers University, whose athletic teams moved to the Big Ten Conference last year, considered among the elite collegiate conferences in the entire country.
It is very significant and important to note that the elevation of the entire site needs to be raised. That lone component of the project would normally cost $20 million on its own. By entering into an agreement with BFS, the entire cost of the site remediation will be borne by BFS - and at no cost to Atlantic City. That site improvement will undoubtedly not only raise the site, but raise the value of the site significantly, making it substantially more marketable in the future.
BFS is essentially ready to begin construction as soon as it receives the necessary approvals and has already put in place significant preparations to ensure we can move quickly to meet our aggressive timelines. Financing for Phase 1 is entirely in place. The indoor sports dome has already been reserved from the manufacturer. Vital to the project is close consultation with the City regarding the development of the site, as well as public comment and input from stakeholders. BFS, depending on the market, is prepared to accelerate the phases.
Moreover, BFS has already purchased one of the largest youth softball and baseball coach convention in the Country with the intent to relocate it from its existing location to the BFS Complex in Atlantic City in January, 2016. Additionally, BFS has its marketing team is already in place and is prepared to start booking future tournaments and conventions immediately upon being named the Redeveloper.
Atlantic City, New Jersey is facing significant economic challenges with four (4) casinos closing in the last twelve (12) months, with the gaming industry at an uncertain crossroads. Since the first casino was constructed in the late 1970’s, Atlantic City’s economic vitality has relied predominantly on gaming revenue.
The purpose of this proposed redevelopment plan is to provide Atlantic City a new opportunity to diversify itself through avenues that offer more than gaming, and re-market and re-brand Atlantic City.
Bader Field Sports is proposing to redevelop Bader Field into a world class destination for multi-sports, including soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, field hockey, and more. New proposed playing fields will be located both outdoor and indoor inside a proposed new air-supported dome structure (as depicted on attachment #1, prepared by T&M Associates). Additional redevelopment components of Bader Field Sports multi-phased plan includes: construction of a senior citizen center, college dormitories, classrooms, boardwalk promenade, several restaurant pads along Albany Avenue, and possibly an indoor waterpark. attachment #1 includes a total of 5 exhibits prepared by T&M Associates identifying the various improvements associated with each phase of construction.
In assembling its preliminary redevelopment vision plan, BFS has carefully explored the strategies other cities and sports complexes have used to create economic engines centered around sports and family entertainment. In addition, representatives from BFS have spoken to professionals in the sports and recreational fields who would relish the opportunity to play at a new, world-class complex with such close proximity to the beach and the boardwalk as you will read in section 7 of this response. BFS has also had in depth conversations with several professional baseball groups about bringing back professional baseball to Atlantic City utilizing the former AC Surf/Sandcastle Stadium.
Full implementation of this vision plan will not be without its challenges, given the uniqueness of the peninsula-shaped parcel of Bader Field, its former industrial use as a commercial airport, and new flood resiliency measures required as a result of Super Storm Sandy. However, when fully implemented over time, Bader Field will serve as a true catalyst to revitalize Atlantic City's economy by creating new “year-round” revenues for hundreds of Atlantic City businesses, creating hundreds of construction and permanent jobs, providing opportunities for the youth of Atlantic City, and lastly providing several levels of protection to the Chelsea Heights community.