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Medford Sports and Events Complex Project

Proposed Medford Sports and Events Complex at HMSP
Proposed Aquatics and Event Center Concept

On Sept. 12, 2019, the Medford City Council received a Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department staff report outlining indoor recreation facility concepts that best address current indoor recreation facility space deficiencies and future needs based on level-of-service standards adopted in the City's Leisure Services and Comprehensive Plans.

Medford's proposal is for a Sports and Events Complex at the Howard Memorial Sports Park. This indoor complex will contain indoor recreational and competitive pools and a multi-purpose events center. By combining aquatics and the events center into a single facility, the City reduces both development and operational costs through the sharing of spaces.

Information Provided to City Council to Date: 

Project Update

The City proposed an innovative and fair method of financing the complex that does not involve property taxes. The funding mechanisms to build the facility are:

  • A two percent increase to the Transient Lodging Tax (TLT, also known as the hotel-motel tax);
  • Making the current airport Rental Car Tax to apply to commercial locations citywide;
  • A $2.40/month increase to the Park Utility Fee and a commensurate decrease to the Storm Drain Utility Fee to offset the impact to single-family and other residential accounts;
  • Early repayment of a U.S. Cellular Community Park debt service bond to free up $1.6 million per year in existing City financing.

On May 19, 2020, Medford voters approved two lodging tax measures that serve as a funding mechanism for the proposed Complex:

  • Measure 15-187: Amended City Charter to allow the City to collect Transient Lodging Tax from lodging intermediaries (such as Airbnb and VRBO) in addition to hotel/motel owners and operators.
  • Measure 15-188: Amended City Charter to change the Transient Lodging Tax from 9 to 11 percent.
On June 18, 2020, the City Council:
  •  Amended the municipal code to adopt the voter-approved lodging tax increase starting Aug. 1, 2020.
  • Approved the proposed Park Utility Fee and Storm Drain utility fee adjustments starting July 15, 2020.
  • Authorized staff to initiate the financial process necessary for the City to bond up to $60 million to build the Complex.
On July 16, 2020, the City Council:
  • Approved citywide application of the 12.5 percent Car Rental Tax.
On Sept. 17, 2020, the City Council:
  • Approved refinancing and bond issuance, and pledged the full faith and credit of the City. This action allows the City to refinance existing construction bonds.
What's Next?
  • City staff to apply for a Conditional Use Permit for construction at the Howard Memorial Sports Park (October 2020).
  • Issue an Architectural and Engineering services contract (December 2020).
  • Issue construction contract to General Contractor (February 2021).
  • Groundbreaking (Spring 2021).
  • Facility grand opening projected in 2023.

Media Coverage

Additional Department Information

Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department Contacts

701 N. Columbus Avenue
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 774-2400
Fax: (541) 774-2560
Hours: 8 a.m. - 5p.m.

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