The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that the Arizona Diamondbacks signed a nondisclosure agreement with Las Vegas over a year ago, leaving questions about whether relocation was discussed.
According to the report, a nondisclosure agreement between the D-Backs and the City of Las Vegas was executed on August 14, 2018. D-Backs ownership has been evaluating the franchise’s future after reaching an agreement with Maricopa County to seek a new home in May 2018, a settlement that came after the franchise voiced its dissatisfaction with how Chase Field–its home in downtown Phoenix–was being run and maintained. This agreement lets the Diamondbacks look for a new home either in the Valley of the Sun or elsewhere after the end of the 2022 season, effectively shaving five years off the Chase Field lease.
Notably, the nondisclosure agreement with Las Vegas was signed just two weeks after the D-Backs entered into a similar agreement with Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas, where officials pitched a ballpark project that would include surrounding development. For now, however, exactly what pitch, if any, the D-Backs received from Las Vegas officials remains confidential. It is also unclear how far those talks progressed, and whether the two sides are currently engaged in active discussions. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
But any formal proposal that Las Vegas might have pitched was being kept confidential. Bill Arent, the city’s economic development director, notified the Diamondbacks of a public records request filed by the Review-Journal seeking electronic communications between the two sides. In a letter to Arent on Tuesday, the Diamondbacks requested the city not disclose such communications, citing a Nevada statute that calls for a city-formed economic development agency to keep records confidential at the request of a client.
The team has expressed a desire to remain in Arizona and improve Chase Field, the downtown Phoenix stadium that has been the team’s home since its opening season in 1998. But the Diamondbacks have not shut the door on relocation, reiterating the possibility in Tuesday’s letter and in a statement Thursday.
“We’re focused on Arizona and a local solution and have not made any determination on the future stadium site for the Diamondbacks,” a team spokesperson said.
Given the parameters of its settlement with Maricopa County, it seems likely the D-Backs ownership has received overtures from other locales as well. The franchise continues to maintain that it is focused on Arizona, where multiple long-term facility options could be on the table, including a Chase Field renovation or the pursuit of a new ballpark elsewhere in the Valley of the Sun.
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