Bader Field Sport LLC envisions the redevelopment of Bader Field into a world class sports entertainment facility that will host youth sports tournaments year round, in addition to a satellite campus for college complete with dormitories and classrooms. The proposed redevelopment of Bader Field will take place in a total of five (5) phases as outlined in Section 5 and Section 6 of this response.
The goal of Bader Field Sports is to derive profit and meet the unmet need of sports tourism in Atlantic City by capitalizing on economic revitalization in a devastated city. This facilities vision is to bring families to Atlantic City year round; redevelop under-utilized land by improving it; bring revenue to local stores, restaurants, hotels; highlight the beach destination; increase usage of the international airport; generate an increase municipal revenue; and create job opportunities. The Bader Field Sports Complex will be focused on sports, competition, and education. This will be accomplished by developing facilities that will accommodate a diverse group of sports year round. Primary sports that can be played at the Bader Field Sports Complex include basketball, baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer, softball, and track and field. Secondary competitions and events that can be held include indoor golf driving range, golf simulators, flag football, dance competitions, special Olympic events, corporate team building events, summer and holiday camps and clinics that help promote youth development. A vision sketch of site plans for the complex can be found in attachment #1.
Bader Field Sports propose a one of a kind world class facility by incorporating an academic platform at Bader Field. Bader Field Sports project will attract students majoring in sports related fields such as sports management, sports medicine, athletic training, coaching, etc. A premier internship program would attract students from many of the colleges and universities in the surrounding states. The number of colleges in the surrounding states of Maryland, Delaware, New York, Virginia, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania totals 803. Colleges and Universities would also be able to hold invitational tournaments at Bader Field Sports Complex year round. Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian has a vision for economic diversification that includes turning Atlantic City into a university town and better educating the workforce. It includes a plan to grow the city’s retail base and to diversify the tourist industry to attract a greater range of entertainment and conventions (Griego, 2014). Council President Frank Gilliam has stated multiple times in the press that Atlantic City needs Sports Tourism. Not only would Bader Field support Mayor Guardian’s and Council President Gillam’s vision with the creation of an internship program but also promote Atlantic City as a World Premier Destination for sports. Aside from purchasing and relocating a coach’s convention to Atlantic City in 2016 Bader Field Sports are also developing an “AC – Kids” First Campaign for students. The AC Kids first campaign will provide grade school students with use of some of the new fields after school and provide a safe and sound environment for inner-city children to be around positive coaching influences. in greater detail later in the response).
A review of the “Sports Tourism” business reveals that parents will spend over $8 billion this year on just travel involved with youth sports, said Don Schumacher, executive director of the National Association of Sports Commissions (Schoettle, 2013). This is a large statistic that is continually increasing and with the development of Bader Field Sports, one that would absolutely benefit Atlantic City. 70% of children ages 6-17 in the United States play at least one team sport. The average sports tournament lasts 2-3 days, and every athlete brings an average of 2.13 family members to events. Of the primary sports, each team has an average of 17.4 members per team. The average amount of money spent by each attending family (athlete and family) each day of a tournament is $431 on lodging, food and entertainment. Dave Hollander, professor at New York University’s Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports does not see youth sports trending downward any time soon, saying “Cities and towns are seeing benefits as these trips to events turn into mini-vacations for families, so their incentive to be a player in this is also growing (Koba, 2014)”. There is a significant economic opportunity for a city that can host large youth sports events with hundreds of teams (and their accompanying families) descending on Atlantic City and bringing business to local restaurants, shopping, hotels, etc.
In formulating strategies to manage the issues in Atlantic City with the creation of Bader Field Sports, there are multiple phases in the planned redevelopment. Financial cost projections for Bader Field Sports are found in section 5 and section 6 of this submittal as well as attachment #2. The charts include a 5 year economic impact projection which we believe is very conservative when compared to similar yet smaller venues such as Diamond Nation in Flemington, NJ, which sits on approximately 40 acres and has just a total of 5 baseball fields, which double as 10 softball fields.