Salem Responds To Questions About Budget / Sports Complex Construction

The following contains emailed responses dated Feb. 5, 2024 from the Salem City Manager’s Office in response to questions from Salem resident Diane Ribble about budget and construction issues. As reported here, Ribble spoke at Salem City Council on Jan. 22, 2024. Ribble’s questions are in bold, with responses from the City below.

Extensive, expensive renovations are ongoing at Moyer Field. What else has been, or is projected for renovations of athletic facilities in the City of Salem?

The Moyer Sports Complex Project was included in the FY23 Capital lmprovements Project.
Also, the Salem Red Sox team has a lease with the city to use our stadium. Under the current lease, the city must maintain and upkeep the facility.

What is the cost to taxpayers for these renovations?

The 12 million cost estimate was a preliminary estimate. Once the bid for the project came in, a discussion was held with Council that included different options. Council elected to include additional items to the project. Additionally, inflation costs due to COVID, along with supply strains, greatly increased the cost of the project.

What will be the final cost to Salem?

The budget for Moyer renovations is $27,922,667. We have expended $18,156,048.74 so
far. We will not know the final cost of Moyer renovations until the project is completed. The
Moyer project was shown on the capital improvement plan document in the FY23 budget book on page 96. This document is also available on the City’s website under the Finance

What, if any, does Roanoke College pay to use/ rent City of Salem facilities? What will they contribute to the ongoing maintenance of our athletic facilities?

Roanoke College uses the Moyer Sports Complex. Field 4 has been the home field for the
Roanoke College Maroons Softball team since its inception in 1997. According to an agreement with the city, there is a fee. Currently, they are paying $18,500.00 to use the field. This fee increases annually by $500.00. They practice and play all home softball games on Field 4. Due to construction, Roanoke College Softball was not played at Moyer Sports Complex in 2023 or 2024. No payment was made as they utilized the Botetourt Sports Complex.

The college has agreed to pay the City of Salem $30,000 to have ROANOKE COLLEGE
SOFTBALL on the outfield fence (windscreen)and under the scoreboard on Field 4 at the
Moyer Sports Complex.

The City of Salem has hosted NCAA, VHSL, and ODAC events at Roanoke College. The
college does not charge the city for using its facilities, including locker rooms, training rooms, or any other facility-related expense when we use them. We pay staff costs only. The facilities include Kerr Stadium, the Cregger basketball center, the indoor track, the Bast Outdoor Track / The Bast Center, and tennis courts

Other events we have hosted over the past seven years are the VHSL Spring Jubilee at Kerr Stadium for high school soccer or lacrosse state championships. We have also hosted the VHSL State Tennis Championships at Roanoke College’s Elizabeth Campus tennis courts and the VHSL State lndoor Track Championship at Roanoke College at the Cregger Center lndoor Track, the ODAC Conference lndoor Track Championship (Cregger Center), the city’s
recreational basketball games (old BAST basketball center) the city’s recreational soccer games (the fields at the Elizabeth Campus) the Salem Police Department’s D.A.R.E Picnic, (no cost to us) and several Special Olympics events on its track each spring.

Where can I see these amounts listed as line items in the city budget?

Fees from Roanoke College for using City facilities are shown on page 10 of the FY24 budget book that is available on the City’s website under the Finance Department. Attached is a copy of the page.

Who will provide Security services for Roanoke College events? If they pull Salem Police, we will have fewer officers on our streets.

Police officers who work the events for the college are ‘off-duty’ officers. The college pays them. There have been some conversations between the city and the Roanoke College Athletic Director about football and we are still working out the details. The college will be playing games in 2024, but the games for this fall are away games and treated like a JV schedule. The college will not use the city’s football stadium until late 2025. ln 2025, five scheduled home games will be held on Saturdays throughout September and October. None impact Salem High School football’s traditional weekday games. other than when we operate the stadium for the Salem school system and the City of Salem football events, any other use of the stadium is handled as a straight rental with all expenses covered by the client. Additionally, any support staff needed would be charged back to Roanoke College (ticket takers, security, ushers, field staff, announcers, EMT, police, etc.). This will all be covered when the contract is written and in place with Roanoke College. However, this has been discussed, and Roanoke College is aware and did not push back on this.

Roanoke College will use the locker rooms and leave them in the same condition they were
when they arrived. Roanoke College will have the right to hang banners on the day they rent the stadium so that the facility will look like their ‘home’ for the day. No different than we currently do for clients such as CIAA, VHSL, and NCAA.

Who will benefit from ticket and concession sales at Salem Stadium and Moyer Field? 

The college does not charge a gate fee at the Moyer Complex. Regarding Roanoke College’s use of Salem Memorial Baseball Field, a contractual agreement between the Salem Red Sox and the college exists. The Salem Red Sox controls the lease at the field. Per that agreement, all monies from Roanoke College’s use of the field are paid directly to the Sa/ern Red Sox.

According to a city contract, the concession rights at the Football Stadium are those of the Lions Club. The Lions Club has the right to determine where the funds are distributed based on its profits. A portion of its net profits goes to the Salem School Board to support Activity Funds and Athletics. The Civic Facility does have the ight to contract up to three non-competing concessionaires for events at the stadium for a fee. Salem Catering gets ,he concessions at Moyer. The city would receive the meals tax.

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