An official announcement is on the way, but there are reports the independent Can-Am League is returning to New Jersey’s Skylands Park beginning in 2015.
The ballpark was home to the New Jersey Cardinals (short season A; NY-Penn League) and the Sussex Skyhawks (independent; Can-Am League). The Cardinals started strong and then faded before moving to State College. The Skyhawks….well, the Skyhawks started weak and ended weak before folding.
So perhaps the third time is the charm. We do have a ballpark owner, Al Dorso Sr., who is putting some money into the ballpark after basically walking away from pro baseball a year or so ago, with reports earlier this year baseball would not be returning. He made the announcement of the team at a local business expo, per the New Jersey Herald:
According to information presented Monday, the new team — which has not yet been named — will play 56 regular-season games at the stadium.
The procurement follows what Dorso said has been more than $2 million invested in renovations to the stadium, 80 percent of which are now complete. The newly refurbished stadium, he said, has also contracted with a caterer to provide luxury dining options to attendees in luxury skyboxes that will be situated in a 5,000-square-foot pavilion.
Dorso and the new team owners will face the same challenges the owners of the former teams in Sussex County, N.J. faced: this is still a sparsely populated area, and rounding up corporate support will be hard. And we’re awfully late in the sales cycle for a 2015 launch. Still, it’s good to see a baseball coming back to any ballpark.
Photo by Mark Cryan.