As it continues negotiations to buy the facility, an investor group says it might replace Chase Field and build a privately-funded ballpark for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Maricopa County is continuing discussions about the sale of Chase Field to Stadium Real Estate Partners II LLC, a transaction that would essentially get the county out of its ongoing dispute with the D-Backs over facility maintenance. An appraisal needs to be completed before the terms are finalized, and the D-Backs’ lease grants the team veto authority over the potential sale.
In a recent statement, Stadium Real Estate Partners II LLC said that while it is interested in closing the Chase Field sale, it will look to build a new ballpark down the road. At this point, all that is known is that the facility would be located in downtown Phoenix and be constructed with private money, but the exact funding model and location remain unknown.
Meanwhile, the county says it is unsure of the group’s plans and adds that it might be looking decades ahead. More from AZ Central:
“It is news to us,” county spokesman Fields Moseley said.
But he noted that the idea doesn’t necessarily cancel the original plan. The investors could be looking decades down the road, Moseley said.
The buyer group initially proposed to the Board of Supervisors to bring Chase Field up to “state-of-the-art” standards within a year of taking ownership and signed a legally binding agreement with the county to keep the team there until 2028.
After that, all options are on the table, Moseley said.
“They’re looking 20, 30 years down the road. What is the downtown sports and entertainment district going to look like?” he said.
Perhaps looking ahead, the investor group understands that having a road map to a new facility in place could make for an easier relationship with the D-Backs. The two sides still have to come to terms over how some factors, including the maintenence of Chase Field and the construction of its potential replacement, will look if the ballpark does transfer to private ownership. The deadline to complete the sale was intially scheduled for October 31, but was recently pushed back to January 16.
RELATED STORIES: Deadline Extended for Chase Field Sale; 2010 Appraisal: Chase Field Worth $45 Million; Will D-Backs Exercise Veto Over Chase Field Sale?; Maricopa County Debates Sale of Chase Field to Investors; Drama in the Desert; Diamondbacks: Improve Chase Field or We Will Leave