Though there’s no final word from the ballpark owner, political leaders in Camden, N.J. say that Campbell’s Field, former home of the Camden Riversharks (independent; Atlantic League), will be torn down to make way for athletic fields and a waterfront development.
The ballpark, which opened in 2001, has been home to college ball — the Division III Rutgers–Camden team– but unoccupied by pro ball for the last few years after the departure of the Riversharks. There was an effort to move a NY-Penn League team into the facility, but financial issues in raising the ballpark to MiLB standards and reported opposition from the Philadelphia Phillies killed that plan.
Now, the plan is to tear down the ballpark, according to local political leader George E. Norcross III, to make way for From the Courier Post:
“Unfortunately, the state, in its lack of wisdom, built a baseball stadium for an unaffiliated, independent league (team) that folded and $35 million disappeared,” he said at a business breakfast Tuesday, referring to the now-defunct Camden Riversharks that once played at Campbell’s Field.
“You’re going to see, in the not-too-distant future, that stadium demolished and in its place will be world-class athletic fields for Rutgers University in Camden and the public schools system and the renaissance schools in Camden, so they will have world-class athletic facilities to utilize,” Norcross added.
As noted, any deal is not final, but officials with the ballpark’s owner, the Camden County Improvement Authority, say there are talks to sell the property to a developer who would keep some athletic fields as part of a larger waterfront development:
“Rutgers is proud to be a partner in the Camden Rising movement,” spokesman Mike Sepanic said. “The proposal to transform Campbell’s Field into an athletic complex that serves our city, as well as Rutgers-Camden’s students, is exciting and has the potential to further energize our neighborhood and to promote active lifestyles.”
Asked about Norcross’ remarks, Camden County spokesman Dan Keashen said the CCIA “is still involved with confidential and deliberative negotiations with a prospective buyer in regard to the Waterfront Stadium.”
“Based on these negotiations, we cannot comment on the future of the facility in order to preserve our current negotiating position. That said, it is still in operation and being maintained by the authority as a baseball stadium and a host site for regional events.”