Philly Teams

.

Corner Pub Sports

Camden Waterfront’s Campbell’s Field to be Demolished

Riversharks Campbell’s Field Photo via Ron Sullivan

It’s over.

Campbell’s Field will reportedly be torn down to make way for athletic fields and a waterfront development project. The 6,700 seat stadium opened in 2001. It was thought the ballpark would help fuel a renaissance along the Delaware River in Camden.

The former home of the Camden Riversharks has sat (basically) vacant the past two years. Seated at the foot of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Campbell’s Field has been without a team since October 2015. There was an effort to move a NY-Penn League team into the facility (the Williamsport Crosscutters was mentioned as a possibility). Financial issues in raising the ballpark to MiLB standards and opposition locally from the Phillies prevented that idea from ever getting off the ground.

Now, the plan is to raze the ballpark, according to local political leader George E. Norcross III via 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.

Six months ago, Camden County bought the stadium for $3.5 million and deeded it to the Camden County Improvement Authority. The money the county spent on the purchase went to Santander Bank to end years of litigation filed against the Rivershark’s owners over unpaid loans.

Since it opened it’s doors for the first time, I always loved Campbell’s Field.

Although the Riversharks might not have ever been all that good, that ballpark was a beautiful place to watch a game on a warm summer night. It had a great view of both the Philadelphia skyline  and the Ben Franklin Bridge. The food and drinks were always more than affordable and there was never any grumbling about the parking. It was a place that was as family friendly as could possibly be. I’ve enjoyed games there with my Dad, Uncles, and my Grandfather.

Campbell’s Field

Nostalgically, the Riversharks were the first team that allowed Sean and I to cover their home games in a professional capacity for our then-new website.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in September 2015 that attendance was (a generous) 3,100 a game for that season. A month later, the Riversharks folded and the franchise relocated to New Britain, Connecticut renamed The Bees.

The Camden Riversharks, the Atlantic City Surf, the Newark Bears, the Somerset Patriots are all now ghosts of New Jersey’s past.

Soon, that beautiful 1991 addition to the waterfront that held so much hope for Camden, will be gone as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: