The $16 million Camden Athletic Complex, located on the site of the former Campbell’s Field minor league baseball stadium on Camden waterfront, held its grand opening last week.
“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 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.”
Work included the demolition of the former Campbell’s Field and 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,” said Camden City Mayor Victor Carstarphen “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.”
“Rutgers is proud to be a partner in helping to launch this county-owned and operated facility,” said Antonio D. Tillis, chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden. “These playing fields will provide a home base for our NCAA and club sports. This complex also will provide the families of Camden and Camden County with opportunities to exercise, play, and build healthy communities.”
In 2017, the Rutgers University Board of Governors approved the investment of $7.5 million in the redevelopment of the complex. The multi-purpose athletic facility includes fields for baseball, lacrosse, and track and field to be utilized by Rutgers University–Camden’s NCAA Division III and club teams as well as by the larger Camden community. Camden County owns the property and will manage operations of the complex.
“I am excited to know that community teams will play on the same fields and run on the same track as our Scarlet Raptors,” said Chancellor Tillis. “Everybody wins.”
Jeff Dean, director of athletics and recreation services at Rutgers–Camden, noted what a tremendous asset the sports complex will be to the future of the university’s teams. “Track and field has never had a home at Rutgers–Camden during my time here and baseball has played on the road the last several years,” he said. “It is a fantastic development for these teams as well as our other sports to have the opportunity to practice and play on campus.”
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