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Atlantic City, Surf wrangling continues

The city says the Atlantic City Surf owes over $130,000 in back rent; the team’s ownership says the actual number is far less.
Atlantic City officials have come out with all guns firing, saying the Atlantic City Surf (independent; Can-Am Association) owes over $130,000 in back rent over the last 21 months while neglecting to perform necessary maintenance at Bernie Robbins Stadium.

Not so, says Mark Schuster; the actual number is far less, as the team was allowed to deduct rent in exchange for maintenance at the ballpark.

The city’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which administers the ballpark lease, says the Surf’s rent was $75,000 a year, or $6,250 a month, plus a surcharge should gross ticket revenue exceed $750,000. That threshold hasn’t been reached for years.

The actual amount of past rent due may be academic; the CRDA isn’t showing any signs of trying to collect. Given the fact the condition of the ballpark was deteriorating rapidly — heat and water systems were shut down after huge failures, and there are readily apparent problems with the grandstand — the future of the ballpark is surely in some doubt, especially with some city officials wanting to tear it down to make way for development.

RELATED STORIES: Suitors pop up for Bernie Robbins Stadium; After loss of Surf, what will happen to Bernie Robbins Stadium?; Can-Am Association to field only six teams this seasonAtlantic City Surf ceases operations

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