In the time following the departure of the Camden Riversharks (independent; Atlantic League), Camden County has not secured a professional baseball tenant for Campbell’s Field. This is despite some of the development taking place on Camden’s waterfront.
Campbell’s Field opened for the Riversharks in 2001, and was seen as the latest amenity in continuing efforts to develop the city’s waterfront. The Riversharks played at the facility through the 2015 season, but were not able to secure a lease extension beyond that period with the Camden County Improvement Authority.
Discussions took place around that time of having an affiliated Short Season-A New York-Penn League team move into the ballpark, but nothing has ever come to fruition on that front. Meanwhile, Camden has seen more development take off in the area surrounding the facility, which is primarily being used for Rutgers University-Camden baseball. Officials say that obtaining a new affiliated tenant is still something that they could pursue, but at this point there are no firm proposals in place. More from the AP (via Philly.com):
“We think that’s the most financially viable option for us, but so far we haven’t been able to land one, quite frankly,” said Louis Cappelli, who leads the county’s governing board. “We were hoping to have something concrete by now. Unfortunately that has not happened. But we will keep at it.”
The stadium has striking views of downtown Philadelphia and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. It was the third major entertainment option to be developed on the waterfront, after an aquarium in 1992 and a major concert venue in 1995, as part of long-running effort to revitalize one of the nation’s most violent and poorest cities.
As a few dozen people sat among a sea of empty seats in the 6,400-person stadium on a recent day to watch a Rutgers-Camden college baseball game, construction was going on around it.
The crown jewel of the waterfront now is a $1 billion development project by Philadelphia-based Liberty Property Trust. The first phase of the project, new headquarters for utility company American Water, is under construction while more offices, housing and retail are proposed.
As we noted when the Riversharks’ departure was confirmed in October 2015, Campbell’s Field would likely be in need of renovations should an affiliated team ever arrive.