Exterior photo of Chase Field at night. Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Image Credit: Alan Stark (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Maricopa County, Arizona are currently in a heated discussion about which party is responsible for repairs to Chase Field’s air conditioning system and damaged sanitation piping system. Major League Baseball has given it’s stance on the dispute and alleges that they could be forced to move the Arizona Diamondbacks to another city if the repairs aren’t soon addressed. The Diamondbacks organization originally sued Maricopa County back in January so that the team could break their current lease at Chase Field and pursue funding for a new ballpark.

According to the Diamondbacks’ current lease with Maricopa County, the team will play at Chase Field through the 2028 Major League Baseball season. The team will not be able to speak to outside groups about funding a new ballpark until 2024. At the time, Chase Field was due for an estimated $187 million in repairs and that number has since grown. Maricopa County even tried to find investors to purchase Chase Field and develop the surrounding neighborhood with retail shops and restaurants. However, that deal never came to fruition after the Arizona Diamondbacks refused to meet with the investors.

Now, the Arizona Diamondbacks are alleging that Maricopa County is responsible for the costs involved with Chase Field’s latest malfunctions. Maricopa County says the team is solely responsible for all repairs to Chase Field. The two parties are considering either seeking arbitration or going to court. That decision is up to a superior court judge and will come in the next few weeks. Arbitration is typically kept private but the Arizona Diamondbacks want the entire dialogue to be disclosed to the public since their taxpayer dollars built Chase Field.

The latest malfunctions at Chase Field occurred in June. The air-conditioning system went into disarray following a power surge in downtown Phoenix and flooded multiple areas throughout the ballpark. A sanitation pipe also burst in an office at the ballpark. The Diamondbacks organization did not immediately seek money from Maricopa County when the incidents first took place.

Photo of the field at Chase Field during an Arizona Diamondbacks game.

Image Credit: Nick Bastian (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Arizona Diamondbacks generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for downtown Phoenix on a yearly basis. Severing that relationship would be insane, whether the Maricopa County is responsible for Chase Field’s repairs or not. Unfortunately, the county and local taxpayers do not hold the upper hand in disputes like these. If the needed repairs are not made to Chase Field or a new ballpark isn’t funded, the Arizona Diamondbacks organization will find a city that will. Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has already said that Charlotte, Mexico City, Las Vegas and Montreal are all potential cities for a Major League Baseball franchise in the future.







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