The baseball team that brought inexpensive family fun to The Swamp is leaving Fayetteville.
After 19 seasons in the city, the Fayetteville SwampDogs are moving on after failing to reach a sustainable lease agreement with Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC), current landlord of the team's JP Riddle Stadium home field.
"Our goal was to continue being a source of low-cost summer entertainment for the community of which we've become an integral part," said Jeremy Aagard, the SwampDogs' general manager. "The financial terms of the lease we were offered by FTCC were inconsistent with that goal."
In its almost two decades as a Fayetteville institution, the SwampDogs provided an opportunity for local residents to see hundreds of skilled collegiate players, many of them on their way to long-term careers in baseball—and a few on their way to eventual places with Major League Baseball teams. The SwampDogs organization was also a strong supporter of local charities, including Special Olympics, through the events it hosted both in- and out-of-season.
"We always sought to provide affordable entertainment while giving back to the community that so enthusiastically supported us," said SwampDogs owner Lew Handelsman. "We thank the thousands of fans, host families, and the many business sponsors who warmly welcomed us and helped made the SwampDogs successful."
The team is a member of the Coastal Plains League, which plays in cities throughout the Southeast. After sitting out the 2020 season, the team expects to relocate.