$16M Camden Athletic Fields complex opens to much fanfare

Commissioners, mayor, others usher in new day for youth athletics in city

Camden Athletic Fields is now officially open. The complex, at the former Campbell’s Field, has been transformed into one of the most recognizable youth athletic facilities in South Jersey and will be the host to Rutgers-Camden athletics, Camden city youth sports and daily community use.

“This brand-new athletic complex will expand the availability of open playing fields not only to the Rutgers-Camden athletic teams, but will meet the needs of our city and county residents as well,” said County Commissioner Jeff Nash, who serves as the liaison to the Parks Department. “This project will be transformative to the waterfront and will be an asset for the children of Camden. The impact of this park will be felt for generations to come in the city and is now one of the premiere complexes in the region.”

The board of commissioners joined officials from the city of Camden and Rutgers University-Camden, U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1st Dist.) and the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors to officially open the new site, which included the construction of a turf baseball field and multipurpose field, an eight-lane track, pole vault and steeple chase, and a clubhouse complete with locker rooms, bathrooms and training rooms. The facility also includes 26 new parking spaces with bike racks, new sports lighting and is equipped with enhanced stormwater management.

“This project signifies an investment in our neighborhoods and, ultimately, a tangible investment in the quality of life for everyone living in Camden,” Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen said. “It is an outstanding accomplishment for the city to have a first-class athletic complex located right here on our waterfront. We are also fortunate to have this asset under the management of two community conscious partners in Rutgers University-Camden and the county commissioners. The Camden Athletic Complex is yet another commitment by my administration and our partners to support youth sports and foster an environment where we expand community health and wellness programming.”

In addition to use by Rutgers-Camden and the public, the facility will also be the location for collaborative health sciences, research and education programs.

“The Camden Athletic Fields is another significant investment in our overall infrastructure, which not only expands access to open playing fields for residents in the city, but also provides a state-of-the-art facility for Rutgers-Camden athletic teams,” CEO of the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors and former Camden Mayor Dana Redd said. “The extraordinary investment in these ‘third places’ — where our community gathers — is providing positive change to the overall landscape for residents and giving our children equity in facilities with their counterparts outside the city.”

The project was funded by the commissioners, the Joint Board and Rutgers-Camden. The $16 million investment will create a variety of athletic assets that did not exist prior to construction.