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Maricopa County Approves Chase Field Deal

Arizona Diamondbacks

An agreement between Maricopa County and the Arizona Diamondbacks concerning Chase Field is official, as county supervisors approved the deal earlier this week. 

Some conditions apply, but the agreement will essentially see the D-Backs assume Chase Field maintenance in exchange for the freedom to seek a new home, either in the Valley or elsewhere. This comes after the D-Backs sued Maricopa County over the condition of Chase Field, arguing that the county had deferred maintenance to the facility in violation of their lease. In response to the lawsuit, the county and the team entered court-mandated mediation and agreed to a settlement where the Diamondbacks can begin searching for a replacement immediately.

That agreement was announced last week, but needed to clear a hurdle with a vote on Wednesday. Ultimately, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of the deal, allowing it to proceed by a 4-1 margin. More from The Arizona Republic:

The county Board of Supervisors passed the agreement 4-1 a week after making the deal public, ending a longstanding lawsuit. It allows the team to immediately start looking for another home in exchange for dropping its demand for the county to pay up to $187 million in stadium upgrades.

Under the agreement, if the Diamondbacks found a new location in Maricopa County, the team could leave Chase Field without penalty in 2022, five years earlier than the team’s current contract.

A new stadium built on tribal land, an idea that has been rumored, would have to charge the same taxes as currently charged at Chase Field, according to the agreement.

If the Diamondbacks left Arizona after 2022, the team would have to pay penalties of between $5 million and $25 million.

The D-Backs have played at Chase Field since its opening in 1998, and their current lease for the ballpark runs through 2027. Now that this agreement has been approved, it will give the organization some options in planning its future. It remains to be seen how the D-Backs will handle their long-term facility situation, but their options may include a Chase Field renovation or the pursuit of a new ballpark.

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