Rutgers University approved a resolution to invest $7.5 million toward the $15 million redevelopment of Campbell’s Field in Camden that would convert the field into a multi-purpose athletic facility open to Rutgers’ students and the public.
The development plan that was approved by Rutgers Board of Governors on Dec. 7 would be partially paid for by Rutgers University, with another $7.5 million invested by the city of Camden.
The current plan would see Campbell’s Field demolished and replaced with athletic facilities that could house fields for baseball, lacrosse and field hockey. The new complex would be owned by the City of Camden, but operated by Rutgers. Currently, Campbell’s Field is owned and operated by the Camden County Improvement Authority.
The city of Camden intends to secure funding for the project through the state’s Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres and Historic Preservation Bond Act, a bond that provides funding for enhancing recreational resources and open spaces in New Jersey. Camden has used Green Acres for funding of similar projects in the past, a city official said.
“Although it will be disappointing to see Campbell’s Field gone, change is sweeping through the city,” said Dana Redd, Mayor of Camden, in a prepared statement. “This is an opportunity for Camden to reimagine the site in a positive way that will benefit the community.”
Rutgers’ resolution comes just a month after democratic power broker George Norcross said in a business breakfast event that Campbell’s field would be demolished in the “not-too-distant future.”
Rutgers’ approval is the first step of a long process that could significantly alter the current plan. A city official said the hope is to begin construction as soon as possible, but the timeline to construction is subject to required approvals through the city. Rutgers’ men’s baseball team plans to utilize Campbell’s field through Spring 2018.