Tag Archives: New Britain

Camden Riversharks Cease Operations – What Will Happen To Campbell’s Field?

Last month, I wrote an article about the Atlantic League putting a team in New Britain next year. Since the league isn’t looking to add another team for the 2016 season, one has to be relocated to New Britain.  There was much speculation that the Camden Riversharks, whose lease was up at the end of the season, would be the team to relocate if an agreement wasn’t reached.

That is no longer just speculation anymore. Yesterday, October 21st, The Camden Riversharks issued this statement on their website:

10/21/2015 11:36 AM

RIVERSHARKS BASEBALL COMES TO CLOSE AFTER 15 YEARS

TEAM NOT OFFERED NEW LEASE

MERCHANDISE SALE THURSDAY-SATURDAY

The Camden Riversharks announced today that the club will cease operations immediately due to the inability to reach an agreement on lease terms with the ballpark’s owner, the Camden County Improvement Authority (“CCIA”).

Campbell’s Field has been home since inception in 2001, and the ballpark has twice been named Baseball America’s Ballpark of the Year. Over 3.5 million fans have attended Riversharks games over the past 15 years.

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 team merchandise sale will be held at the ballpark on Thursday, October 22-Friday October 23 from 9:00 am- 5:00 pm, and Saturday, October 24 from 9:00 am – Noon.

For further information on baseball in Camden or Campbell’s Field, call 856-751-2242 or email justask@camdencounty.com.

Now the question becomes, what will happen to Campbell’s Field in Camden?

campbell's field

(Photo By: ballparkreviews.com)

According to nj.com, their sources had told them in September that the stadium could be host to a new team next season.

Next season seems to be a bit of a stretch as the date has already passed for an affiliated team to relocate there, and it doesn’t appear that any other independent league is looking to add or relocate a team at this time.

More than likely if another professional baseball team does play in Camden, it won’t be until 2017 at the earliest. There have been rumors that they are looking to bring in a Short Season NY-Penn League team to Campbell’s Field.  The Phillies would have to approve any major league affiliated team moving into the area since the field is located within the Phillies’ territory;  However, it was reported in September by the Baseball Digest “that the Philadelphia Phillies have already signed off on the effort.”

We will keep you updated on the situation at Campbell’s Field as well as the new team in New Britain as information is made available. Please subscribe to our site to get the latest news!

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New Britain Gets an Atlantic League Team, But Which One?

new britain stadium

(Photo Credit: www.littleballparks.com)

After the New Britain Rock Cats, a team in the MiLB Double A Eastern League, announced its move to Hartford, CT for the 2016 season, it appeared as though their baseball stadium and the town which has been home to baseball for over 30 years could be left without a professional baseball team.

However, that wasn’t the case for very long. We now know that the Atlantic League will be fielding a team in New Britain. We just aren’t sure which one.

On Wednesday September 23rd, the New Britain Common Council unanimously approved to lease the stadium to the Atlantic League starting on January 1st.  The contract, which still needs to be formally passed by the league, is for a 15 year lease which will bring $150,000 per year in rent for the city.

The Hartford Courant reported that:

The new lease pays New Britain about $50,000 more in annual rent, but assigns parking revenue — worth an estimated $100,000 a year — to the team instead of the city. However, the city will get 10 percent of parking charges, as well as 10 percent of revenue from any renaming of New Britain Stadium, according to city hall.

The city has also set aside money for renovations to the ballpark that include painting and replacing the bleachers.

But since the Atlantic League isn’t looking to expand their eight-team league in time for next season, one team must be relocated to New Britain. The Riversharks’ lease is currently up in Camden, New Jersey, and The Atlantic League and the city have only two weeks left of negotiations to keep the franchise there.  If an agreement isn’t reached, the Riversharks will be relocated to New Britain.

If the Riversharks and Camden do reach an agreement, the Atlantic League has a big decision on their hands.  One of the other seven teams will have to move to fulfill the lease in New Britain.

“Either way, we’ll be playing in New Britain in April,” Atlantic League founder Frank Boulton told the Hartford Courant.

Once it has been decided just what team will be playing in New Britain, which according to the league should be made public some time in October, the city will provide office space at city hall for the team to begin their marketing campaign and season ticket sales.