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Camden Riversharks Cease Operations After 15 Years

Riversharks Campbell’s Field

After 15 Seasons on the waterfront the independent league Camden Riversharks have ceased operations. According to an announcement made on the team’s website Wednesday, the team was unable to reach a lease agreement with Campbell’s Field’s owner, the Camden County Improvement Authority

“We would like to thank our partners and fans for supporting the club for 15 memorable seasons. We did everything we could to keep affordable, family entertainment alive and well in Camden,” the team said.

This year the team was working a short-term lease with the agreement having expired at the end of this past season.

The CCIA bought the ballpark earlier this year for $3.5 million.
The sale of the ballpark on the Camden riverfront settled a lawsuit that Santander Bank had filed against the Riversharks’ ownership group and others seeking more than $4 million in overdue construction loan payments. The bank was a major lender for the stadium building project.

Linda Rosenberg, the team’s general manager, previously said the Riversharks wanted to stay put.

“We’ve been working hard to negotiate a lease that will work for us and allow us to stay in Camden. We want to stay. We think great things are happening in Camden,” she said. “We’ve been here 15 years and we want to stay.”

In the Riversharks’ statement Wednesday the team reiterated that sentiment.

“We would like to thank our partners and fans for supporting the club for 15 memorable seasons. We did everything we could to keep affordable, family entertainment alive and well in Camden.”

A final merchandise sale will be held at Campbell’s Field on both Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

The founder and original owner of the Riversharks was Steve Shilling, a South Jersey real estate developer who passed away in 2003.

Riversharks

The baseball team has been without an owner since then. The team is now owned by a group of owners of other Atlantic League teams, led by Frank Boulton – one of the league’s founders and the current owner of the Long Island Ducks. Independent league teams, which are not affiliated with Major League Baseball franchises, must finance all operating expenses. The Riversharks finished seventh in the eight-team Atlantic League in attendance last season with an average of 3,186 fans per game.

The future of the 6,712-seat ballpark is unclear. The stadium is the right size for a single-A Minor League Baseball franchise, but the Phillies hold territory rights to South Jersey and would have to approve any other MLB club’s affiliate moving into Camden.
The Phillies have three single-A teams: the Lakewood Blue Claws in New Jersey, the Clearwater Threshers in Florida and the Williamsport Crosscutters in Pennsylvania. Phillies officials were not immediately available for comment on their interest in the site, or whether they would allow another MLB franchise’s affiliate to move there.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Camden Waterfront's Campbell’s Field to be Demolished

  2. Pingback: Campbell's Field Fate is Still Undecided

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