Atlantic City’s Surf Stadium could become home to a soccer club, as Atlantic City FC is interested in permanently occupying the facility.
When it opened as The Sandcastle in 1998, Surf Stadium was the home of the Atlantic City Surf, then a member of the independent Atlantic League. After the Surf’s last season in 2008, the ballpark’s condition fell on hard times, but it was eventually put back into working order to host tournaments.
It could eventually become a soccer facility. Atlantic City FC, a member of the fourth-tier National Premier Soccer League, announced last week that it is discussing an idea that calls for Surf Stadium to receive renovations that make it more conducive to soccer, while also hosting other sports and concerts. The earliest Atlantic City FC would play a full season there is 2020, though that is contingent upon whether the club eventually finalizes an agreement with the city. More from Press of Atlantic City:
Lisa Ryan, spokeswoman for the state Department of Community Affairs, said nothing is definite.
“The city is in very preliminary conversations with Atlantic City FC, and no agreement has been signed,” Ryan said. “The city has advised Atlantic City FC to submit an application for use of Surf Stadium. Upon its receipt, the City will review the application to determine if the stadium can accommodate the needs of the soccer club.”
The soonest the stadium would be available is Aug. 3 of this year, the date of the National Premier Soccer League’s championship game.
If the team qualifies, club co-owner Andrew Weilgus said, the championship will be held there.
Potential changes to the facility could include upgrades to the field and lighting. Atlantic City FC played its inaugural 2018 season at Stockton University, which is located in Galloway Township, but is looking at alternative options for 2019.