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Farewell Riversharks

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.

Campbell's Field (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Twilight at Campbell’s Field in 2014 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

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.

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge, visible beyond Campbell's Field (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Campbell’s Field in September 2014 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

3 thoughts on “Farewell Riversharks

  1. Paul,

    So, was the reason why Camden ceased operations because of the lack of a new lease or were they heading out the door anyway?

    FWIW, as you may remember, I worked for Newark when they were in the Atlantic League. And the attendance counts were routinely fudged as the numbers they provided to the league were usually double to triple what was actually in the stands. So, that Camden might have done so doesn’t surprise me in the least. So, if you’re routinely drawing 1,000-1500, it’s only a matter of time until you’ll be out of business.


  2. Paul,

    Sorry to be a bother, but did you see my comment–above? Do you know why Camden ceased operations? Was it the lease or was that the last straw?


    1. Mark, I only know what I read in the article that I had linked in the original post. I had nothing more to add to the discussion.


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