The contention between Arizona Diamondbacks and Maricopa County over Chase Field maintenance is heading to court, as the D-Backs have sued the county.
Since early last year, the D-Backs and the county have engaged in a public dispute over the condition of Chase Field. Last March, it was revealed that the team had identified $187 million in deferred maintenance at the facility, and said that it could explore alternatives if it could not break its impasse with the county.
Maricopa County eventually attempted to sell Chase Field to a group of private investors, only for that sale to be scratched when the prospective buyer and the D-backs–who had veto power over the sale–failed to come to terms. Now, the D-Backs are suing to break up their agreement, on the grounds that the county is failing to fulfill essential repairs to Chase Field.
The Chase Field lease terms prevent the D-Backs from negotiating with another party until the next decade. Under the agreement, the D-Backs are prohibited to begins discussions with another party about a ballpark until 2024, and are to stay at Chase Field until 2028. D-Backs owner Ken Kendrick says that his team is suing because it has no recourse in rectifying the issue, while the county says that the team is exaggerating the structural condition of Chase Field. More from AZCentral:
Kendrick said the lawsuit would not impact the “day-to-day operations” of the team or the upcoming season, adding that “for 2017, Chase Field is completely safe.”
The team cited a study from the Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business that concluded the stadium spurred economic growth worth $3.8 billion in the past two decades.
Maricopa County officials reacted with disbelief.
“The team simply wants out of the contract that makes them stay and play through the 2028 season,” Board Chairman Clint Hickman said in a written statement. “Saying the facility is in disrepair is outrageous. The Maricopa County Stadium District has spent millions during the off-season on concrete and steel work that keeps the stadium safe and looking great for each baseball season.”
The suit was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court.
RELATED STORIES: Chase Field Sale Scratched; Chase Field Could be Replaced; 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