Chase Field in Downtown Phoenix
Could the Diamondbacks leave Chase Field?
Maricopa County denied the Arizona Diamondback’s relief request from a provision in the team’s contract that hinders the team from seeking new stadium options until four years before the contract expires.
Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, expressed his frustrations Thursday at a press conference after the dispute between the team and the county was made public Thursday.
An independent analysis the county conducted in 2013 found that $187 million was needed to keep the ballpark up to code through the end of the team’s contract, Hall said.
The contract will end in 2028, and the provision the Diamondbacks asked relief from keeps the team from seeking new stadium options until 2024.
“Our preference would be to stay downtown. Our preference would be to stay in Chase Field,” Hall stated.
The $187 million needed are to keep Chase Field in code, Hall said, and is not a part of a “wish list” to make other types of improvements to the field, such as removing seats at the stadium.
Before the Diamondbacks can determine retrofitting Chase Field, or renovating it, the team believes that since Maricopa County can’t keep up its end of the bargain, the team should be able to pursue its options to play elsewhere, Hall said.
But the provision keeps them from pursuing other options, he added.
Maricopa County held a press conference earlier Thursday, and stated that the Diamondbacks are responsible for maintenance costs. Hall denied this at his conference.
@maricopacounty: county reserve fund $ is for capital improvements of stadium, Dbacks responsible for maintenance pic.twitter.com/rBcyHDVQag
— Erika Flores (@ErikaFloresTV) March 25, 2016
“We’re not responsible for the ($187 million). That’s the county’s responsibility,” he said.
Hall reminded folks that the team is not talking about leaving Chase Field right now. The deal that was signed in 1998 only allows the team four years to pursue another home, a provision Hall said is unrealistic.
“If we’re unable to keep this building up to code with what they say is necessary, what could this building look like in 12 years? That’s what scares me. We want to make sure we always have the most fan-friendly, state-of-the-art facility in baseball.”