A group that included former Atlantic City Surf GM Mario Perrucci and Atlantic League founder Frank Boulton met with Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian about bringing pro baseball back to Surf Stadium.
Surf Stadium — née the Sandcastle and Bernie Robbins Stadium — formerly hosted independent baseball, but fell into disrepair after the departure of the Atlantic City Surf (independent; Can-Am League). The city has put some money into repairs — some $1.1 million — and while the ballpark is functional, it would need some additional repairs, like new lighting, for pro ball.
That was the topic of conversation. Perrucci has been working to bring back pro baseball to Atlantic City for several years, while Boulton’s latest project is organizing a new independent league, the Diamond League, but he was at the meeting as an adviser to Perrucci — not as a league organizer. From the Press of Atlantic City:
“I thought it was a very good, productive meeting,” said Perrucci, of Brigantine. “The mayor was very cooperative and understanding. With all the casinos closing, the city needs affordable family entertainment and this certainly fits. There’s still a lot of wood to chop, but the bottom line is we’re interested in bringing baseball back.”
Any ownership group would have to decide what sort of team to bring to town. Ideally, it would be a franchise that plays between Memorial Day and Labor Day to take best advantage of summer crowds.
“I think baseball could work in Atlantic City with the right economic model,” said Boulton, who stressed that he attended the meeting strictly in an advisory role. “The businesses would have to get behind it, and the community would have to support it. I think you’d have to make ticket prices affordable and play a schedule that fits.”
Sounds like a summer-collegiate league should be considered for Atlantic City and maybe Newark, not a pro league.
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