Officials last week approved a demolition contract for Campbell’s Field, spelling an inevitable end for the former home of the Camden Riversharks (independent; Atlantic League).
Campbell’s Field opened in 2001, and was home to the Riversharks through the 2015 season. While it was used by Division III Rutgers-Camden baseball in recent years, the ballpark has been unoccupied by pro ball since the Riversharks ended their run at the facility.
A plan is taking shape to demolish Campbell’s Field in order to make way for a new sports complex that will include a home for Rutgers-Camden baseball. The planned demolition took a major step forward last Thursday, when the Camden County Improvement Authority signed off on a $939,000 contract to demolish the ballpark. More from the Philadelphia Inquirer:
R.E. Pierson Construction of Pilesgrove, Salem County, is expected to begin clearing the eight-acre site in mid-December, said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. Construction should be completed by spring 2020.
“There is no doubt in my mind that it will be sad to see the stadium go, but the redevelopment of those areas will create an amenity and asset open to all,” Cappelli said in a statement.
Under a $15 million deal reached last year, the city and Rutgers-Camden agreed to purchase the 6,400-seat stadium from the county and raze it. Rutgers will manage the new athletic complex, which will include fields for baseball, hockey, soccer and lacrosse, and a track. The city and Rutgers are putting up $7.5 million each for the project.
The demolition marks a disappointing end to a big field of dreams for the prime site at the foot of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge that many hoped would draw baseball enthusiasts and developers to the waterfront. But the Riversharks, an independent minor league team, fell on hard times and ceased operations in Camden in 2015.
At one point there was an effort to move a NY-Penn League team into Campbell’s Field, but financial issues in raising the ballpark to MiLB standards and reported opposition from the Philadelphia Phillies killed that plan. The facility is currently included on our Endangered Ballparks list.
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