Deteriorating conditions at Chase Field could cause Major League Baseball to force a move of the Arizona Diamondbacks to another locale, according to D-Backs attorneys representing the team in a lawsuit against Maricopa County.
The condition of Chase Field has been a contentious issue between Maricopa County and the team, with Diamondbacks officials filing a suit to force the county to spend $187 million on deferred maintenance. Maricopa County’s response is that the team is responsible for maintenance per the terms of the lease. That lawsuit is awaiting either arbitration or a full trial.
However, recent problems at Chase Field have reportedly caught the attention of MLB officials, with things being so bad the sport might force the Diamondbacks out of Phoenix. From the Arizona Republic:
Leo Beus, an attorney for the team, raised the MLB specter as he argued to a Superior Court judge that the case should be decided quickly because the team is “facing a crisis.”
“Major League Baseball … they’re very, very concerned,” Beus said, noting he has spoken with six of the league’s top lawyers. “If Major League Baseball decides they want to create issues for us, there might not be baseball at all in Arizona.”
“We’d like to keep the franchise in place, we’d like to make peace with Major League Baseball, not that we’re at war,” he continued. “We don’t know where that’s going to come out. They’re very concerned.”
The recent problems were on the fan and administrative sides. A burst sanitation pipe forced D-Backs workers from their offices, while a larger problem with the air-conditioning system flooded restaurants, team offices and suites before a game, causing other fans to watch the game sans cool air. In Phoenix, this is a big issue.
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