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Skylands Park on block; baseball unlikely for 2012

New Jersey Cardinals

Skylands Park, former home to affiliated and indy ball in New Jersey’s Sussex County, is on the block for $1.99 million, but so far a buyer has not emerged and baseball is unlikely to be played there in 2012.

Skylands Park was home to the New Jersey Cardinals (short season A; NY-Penn League), who started strong out of the gate in 1994 and set league attendance records, attracting a lot of buzz in the process. But the buzz faded and the Cards were uprooted to State College. An independent team failed to bring the crowds back, and that team left as well.

Which leaves the privately owned ballpark in limbo. The owners did not have the best of reputations as working partners, reportedly asking for high rents. The ballpark was built for just over $9 million some 18 years ago, so we’re guessing there’s some debt left on the facility. Even so, the ballpark is for sale, and while there has been some interest from potential buyers, no one has stepped up with an offer. And with ownership in limbo, no team has expressed strong interest in playing there this season.

We’d be surprised if someone didn’t step up, though. We know several indy and affiliated owners who still think Sussex County is worth pursuing as a market: the 4,200-seat ballpark itself is in good shape, and if a $125,000 annual property-tax bill can be lowered, the finances are even more compelling.


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