A long-broiling dispute between the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team and Maricopa County has come to an end, thanks to a vote of the county’s Board of Supervisors.
In turn, that vote will allow the team to pursue the possibility of building a new stadium.
The Diamondbacks have been playing at Chase Field, located at 401 E. Jefferson Street, since 1998. But the team has for several years been unsatisfied with the condition of that stadium, going to court in 2017 in an attempt to break their 30-year lease.
The Diamondbacks had argued that Maricopa County, the owners of Chase Field, had failed to put aside enough money to keep the stadium up to date. As part of their lawsuit, the team demanded up to $187 million in facility upgrades.
In response, Maricopa County said it was prepared to pay for structural repairs costing far less than that figure, but refused to pay for what were described as cosmetic upgrades.
Last summer, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Karen Mullins ordered the team and county to enter into private mediation in the hope of resolving their differences.
That mediation has at last produced an agreement that will now also allow the Diamondbacks to find another home and move out of Chase Field by 2022. The team has previously explored either locating to, or building, a new stadium in the cities of Chandler, Glendale, Phoenix and Mesa.
In return, the team has agreed to drop its $187 million stadium upgrade demands.
While the Diamondbacks are now free to explore the possibility of building a new facility, the team will also undertake a series of Chase Field upgrades, including updating the stadium’s air conditioning system and putting in a new scoreboard.
By Garry Boulard
Timely, reliable news since 1949