ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Atlantic City is getting a team of its own in the new year — a minor league soccer team that’ll play its games at Stockton University.
Why bring a soccer team here?
“We thought it was a travesty that Atlantic City did not have a sports team representing it,” Atlantic City FC President Andrew Weilus told KYW Newsradio. “And with soccer being on the rise, a team made perfect sense to my business partner and I for this community with its amazing diversity.”
Consider this like a single A baseball team. Plans are to play 14 games in the inaugural season to start in the spring, with road contests taking them as far west as Hershey and as far north as Scranton.
And this is definitely a work in progress. The team is still working out a deal to play its home games at Stockton’s campus in Galloway Township. Plans are to use jitneys to shuttle fans from several Atlantic City locations to the field.
So why not just play in town? Team CEO Nicholas Bilotta thought about that, starting where the minor league baseball team used to play.
“We first looked at the Surf Stadium and the problem with it is the expense of renovating it,” Bilotta said. “So it just became a non-option.”
Thought was also given to the field at Atlantic City High School, but that has artificial turf, which Bilotta also ruled out.
Most of the two dozen or so players will be college students, and many will be housed and even work at the Tropicana, the prime sponsor for the club.
Why would they work at the Trop? Well, they won’t be paid to play soccer, not at that level.