Camden offers first look at $15M community athletic facility

The field with the coolest backdrop in New Jersey — one that was created for a minor-league franchise in Camden that has long since departed — is getting a new lease on life.

The amazing view remains.

Camden officials will have a formal ribbon-cutting in November, but last week they showed off the $15 million athletic fields at the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

The project, which was funded by Rutgers University-Camden, the county and the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Directors, will serve Rutgers students and the Camden community at large.

Kris Kolluri, CEO of Camden Community Partnership, said the fields mark another milestone for the city and county.

“For the first time in almost a century, Camden has the most modern and improved parks and athletic fields for our residents to enjoy,” he told ROI-NJ. “This Rutgers/community waterfront athletic complex is one more example of our collective focus on progress and equity.”

The complex originally was built in 2001 as Campbell’s Field for the Riversharks, a team competing in the Atlantic League, an unaffiliated minor league. The team folded in 2015 due to financial issues. The county purchased the property and saved it from foreclosure.

The new 10-acre complex will have a baseball field, but it also will have track and field facilities as well as fields to play soccer, lacrosse and field hockey. The complex will have locker rooms, storage facilities and limited parking and seating for spectators.