A plan for independent Atlantic League exhibition games at Surf Stadium has been scrapped due to ballpark issues, but Atlantic City remains in the running to land a 2013 team.
Former Surf manager Mario Perrucci pulled the plug on the Labor Day exhibition games, saying he wasn’t confident ballpark improvements would be completed in time to see a successful Camden/Sugar Land series. Pro ball in the city ended because of deteriorating conditions at the ballpark, and while many of them have been addressed after the city shelled out $1 million for repairs, many have not — and some new issues have emerged, like light stanchions that need replacing or reinforcing. In addition, it’s doubtful the scoreboard could be operational or the suites cleaned and upgraded by Labor Day. In addition, Perrucci says he wasn’t allowed access to the ballpark to inspect the facilities until he actually signed a contract, forcing him to commit to the proverbial pig in a poke:
“There’s no way I can sign a contract if the facilities we need to operate are not completed. We were told everything would be done with the exception of the scoreboard — which we understood — and maybe the PA system, and we could have brought that,” Perrucci said. “With all due respect, what they feel is up and ready to go, and what I feel (meets) our needs, could be two different things. I hope they do continue to make repairs. I met with them on very good terms, and hopefully something can be done next year.”
Despite these issues, Perrucci says he’s working on bringing an Atlantic League team to town for 2013, which would present some issues for the circuit: with a new Malden (Mass.) team more than a year down the road and no other potential additions on the horizon, adding a single team for next season may not be in the cards.
RELATED STORIES: Atlantic League returning to Atlantic City?; Atlantic City, Surf wrangling continues; 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 season; Atlantic City Surf ceases operations
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