After 15 seasons, the Camden Riversharks (independent; Atlantic League) are no more after failing to procure a Campbell’s Field lease extension from the Camden County Improvement Authority.
This isn’t huge news to those following the offseason changes within the Atlantic League after it was announced New Britain would be joining the league in 2016. Camden was one of two teams posited as being replaced by New Britain, and weeks ago it was common knowledge that the authority was not interested in a Riversharks lease extension.
Still, the news is bittersweet to many baseball fans and former Riversharks employees. The Atlantic League took a chance on Camden at a time when the waterfront area was particularly rough, and although there’s been talk of an affiliated NY-Penn League team moving to Campbell’s Field (with the CCIA potentially splitting the $4 million renovation cost with the team owner), nothing is close to being final, and the soonest a NY-Penn League team could move to Camden would be 2017.
“We have been working in good faith since the CCIA purchased the ballpark this summer,” said Riversharks GM Lindsay Rosenberg in a press statement. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach an agreement in time to be included on the 2016 Atlantic League schedule.”
Over 3.5 million fans have attended Riversharks games over the past 15 years.
“We would like to thank our partners and fans for supporting the club for 15 memorable seasons,” continued Rosenberg. “We did everything we could to keep affordable, family entertainment alive and well in Camden.”
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