|When the Atlantic League
started up in '98, The Sandcastle was supposed to be the jewel of the league.
But I believe that they were outdone by the beautiful new stadium that
Bridgeport built. Still, The Sandcastle is a nice new park, but has a more
unfinished feel than those stadiums in Bridgeport and Somerset. It is actually
quite similar to The Ballpark At HarborYard in Bridgeport. You must go up a flight
of stairs to enter the stadium. The open concourse is situated at the top
of the seating bowl. Luxury boxes are located on top of the concourse.
Numerous concession stands and a gift shop are located on the concourse.
The seating is divided into two sections - a box seat and reserved section
split by a narrow center concourse. The box seat sections are quite narrow (only
8-10 seats wide) and comfortable. The backdrop is splendid as the casinos
on the boardwalk can be seen in the distance. It is quite a sight after
dark. Unfortunately many of the lower seats have the skyline obscured by
the outfield wall that is three tiers high with advertisements. Knocking
off the top tier would improve the view a lot. A large picnic area has
been constructed for the '99 season, and is located down the right field
line. Parking is plentiful and had been free up to a couple years ago when the team started charging. Although the skyline of the city can
be seen, the park is not downtown. It is actually built right next to a
small airport. The Sandcastle's location is rather odd in this respect.
Many between inning promotions were done, but nothing too unique. One aspect
I didn't like was the amount of music they played - even between pitches.
It is quite distracting. The scoreboard is located in left-center field.
Of course the Surf also have a mascot - Splash. Like most mascots, he was
rather useless. The variety of concessions was good, and the prices cheaper
than in other new parks. It's disappointing to see that Atlantic City is
having a tough time filling the stadium on a regular basis. The Sandcastle
is certainly as good as most Double A parks. Because of sagging attendance, the Surf jumped to the Can-Am League in 2007, with the hopes that a shorter season will make the team more profitable. But apparently it made no difference as the Surf folded up shop shortly before the '09 season was to begin.