Commissioners open Camden sports grounds
Rutgers-Camden, Mayor Carstarphen and the Joint Board of Governors inaugurated a new day for youth athletics in Camden City
(Cherry Hill, NJ) – The Board of Commissioners joined City of Camden Officials, Rutgers-Camden, Congressman Donald Norcross, Rowan Rutgers-Camden University Board of Governors to officially open the new Camden sports grounds. The complex has been transformed into one of South Jersey’s most recognizable youth sports facilities and will host Rutgers-Camden Athletics, Camden City Youth Sports and Community Everyday Use.
“This brand new sports complex will expand the availability of open playing fields not only for Rutgers-Camden sports teams, but will also meet the needs of our city and county residents,” said Commissioner Jeff Nash, who provides the liaison with the Parks Department. “This project will transform the waterfront and be a boon 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 premier complexes in the area.
Works included the demolition of the old Campbell’s Field and the construction of a turf baseball diamond and multi-purpose field, an eight-lane track, a pole vault and a bell tower, and a clubhouse with changing rooms, bathrooms and training rooms.
The facility also includes 26 new parking spaces with bike racks, new sports lighting and is equipped with improved stormwater management.
“This project represents an investment in our neighborhoods and ultimately a tangible investment in the quality of life for all Camden residents,” said City of Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen. “It is an exceptional achievement for the city to have a first class sports complex located right here on our waterfront. We are also fortunate to have this asset under the direction of two community conscious partners at the Rutgers-Camden University and County Commissioners Camden Athletic Complex is another commitment of my administration and our partners to support youth sports and foster an environment where we expand community health and wellness programs .
Antonio D.Tillis, chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden, discussed the benefits the complex will bring to the school and the community as a whole.
“Rutgers is proud to be a partner in helping launch this county-owned and operated facility,” Tillis said. “These playing fields will provide a foundation for our NCAA and our club sports. This complex will also provide opportunities for families in Camden and Camden County to exercise, play and build healthy communities.
Congressman Donald Norcross shared his enthusiasm for the project.
“The Campbell Ground redevelopment brings state-of-the-art sports facilities to Rutgers students and families in Camden City,” Norcross said. “Giving the community access to open spaces, including playgrounds, that were once closed to them is a big deal and we are proud of the teamwork between local leaders, Rutgers, and community leaders to make it a reality.”
In addition to being used by Rutgers-Camden and the public, the facility will also be the location for collaborative health science, research and education programs.
Rowan/Rutgers-Camden University Board of Governors CEO and former Camden City Mayor Dana Redd spoke about the importance of this new complex to residents
“Camden Athletic Fields is another significant investment in our overall infrastructure, which not only expands access to open playing fields for City residents, but also provides a state-of-the-art facility for Rutgers-Camden sports teams” , Redd said. “The extraordinary investment in these ‘third places’ – where our community gathers – is bringing a positive change to the overall landscape for residents and giving our children equity in facilities with their out-of-town counterparts.”
Falio Leyba-Martinez, who runs the East Camden Little League, said the new grounds would be put to good use by the children of Camden.
“Being able to provide the young people of this city with a premium baseball field to play on will have a lasting impact on them as they grow and develop as athletes,” said Leyba-Martinez. “These pitches are a great investment for the children of Camden and I’m so excited to step onto the pitch with our players.”
The project was funded by the Commissioners, The Joint Board, and Rutgers-Camden and Rutgers-Camden University. The $16 million investment will create a variety of sporting assets that did not exist prior to construction.
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