Under a proposal that is currently begin discussed, Camden, NJ’s Campbell’s Field will eventually be demolished to clear the way for an athletic complex.
Campbell’s Field opened in 2001, and was home to the Camden Riversharks (independent; Atlantic League) through the 2015 season. The ballpark has been used for college ball—the Division III Rutgers–Camden–in the period since, but unoccupied by pro ball following 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, officials are considering a $15-million plan that would lead to the demolition of Campbell’s Field and the construction of new athletic fields on the site. The City of Camden and Rutgers-Camden would purchase the ballpark from the Camden County, and the proposal is set to be discussed by the university on Thursday. More from The Philadelphia Inquirer:
The end of the road is drawing near for the stadium, under a $15 million plan by the city and Rutgers-Camden to purchase the stadium from Camden County, raze the stadium, and replace it with a sports complex. It would mark the end of a costly and failed experiment in urban renewal in the city.
The Rutgers Board of Governors is expected to consider a resolution at a meeting Thursday afternoon in Camden to allocate $7.5 million for the project. The city must then seek approval from the state Local Finance Board to seek a bond for $7.5 million for the balance of the funding needed, said city spokesman Vince Basara.
“We’re all going to miss Campbell’s Field,” Basara said Wednesday. “Unfortunately, we’re dealing with the reality that the stadium is underutilized and is in disrepair. Now we have an opportunity to move on and redevelop the site.”
If the complex comes to fruition, it would be maintained and operated by Rutgers. It is expected that the Rutgers-Camden’s baseball program would be among the entities that uses the fields.