Lost in the excitement of the Mets’ NLCS victory on Wednesday was the news that the Atlantic League’s Camden Riversharks would cease operations after 15 seasons.
The Riversharks were not one of the independent league’s better draws – they averaged 3,186 per game in 2015, seventh among eight teams. Actual attendance at the one game I made it to this summer was maybe a third of that.
Rumors surrounded both the Camden team and the Bridgeport Bluefish (eighth at 2,916 per game) ever since the league announced plans to field a franchise in New Britain, Conn. in 2016.
When the Camden County Improvement Authority refused to extend a lease to the Riversharks for next season, that was that. There’s talk of bringing an affiliated minor league team to Camden, but that’s not likely to happen in time for next year if at all. The Philadelphia Phillies have the right to block any affiliated minor league team from entering their territory and have all of their own minor league affiliates locked in at least through 2016.
Camden was a bit of a trek for me… and I often ran into “interesting” people if I rode the River Line from Trenton. But the ballpark staff was great and you simply could not beat the view at Campbell’s Field. I’ll miss it.