Photo of Chase Field at night. Home stadium of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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

The Arizona Diamondbacks and their home stadium, Chase Field (owned by Maricopa County), rarely dominate the headlines of professional sports. However, the relationship between the two is in the national spotlight following a lawsuit over much needed repairs for Chase Field. The dispute began last season when Chase Field began having issues with flooding and it’s air conditioning system. The Arizona Diamondbacks suggest Maricopa County is responsible for repairs to Chase Field. Maricopa County says the opposite. Earlier this week, the Maricopa County Stadium District Board of Directors voted in favor of a memorandum that would allow the Arizona Diamondbacks to pursue a new stadium in the Phoenix area.

The Arizona Diamondbacks could play their final season at Chase Field as early as 2022. The team’s original lease with Maricopa County was set to expire in 2027 and was signed back in 1997. The Arizona Diamondbacks debuted at Chase Field in 1998, the team’s inaugural season. However, Maricopa County requires that the team’s new stadium must also be constructed in Maricopa County, Arizona. The Arizona Diamondbacks front office even threatened relocating the team to another city if the situation wasn't handled sufficiently. 

Moving forward, the Arizona Diamondbacks will be responsible for all repairs to Chase Field as well as maintenance and operational costs. The Maricopa County Stadium District will release reserve funds that will be used to address Chase Field’s current needs in terms of maintenance and functionality. The Arizona Diamondbacks will be required to pay Maricopa County between $5 and $25 million annually between the years 2022 and 2027. The dollar amount depends on what year the team vacates Chase Field prematurely.

In the meantime, the Arizona Diamondbacks are exploring three potential sites for it’s new ballpark. They include

  • The corner of 7th Street and Buchanan in downtown Phoenix.
  • The Salt River Fields area near Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • A plot of land near I-17 and the 303 loop in the Northwest Valley area.

The loss of the Arizona Diamondbacks would greatly hurt the merchants in downtown Phoenix. Major League Baseball teams play 81 home games each season. Of Phoenix’s four professional sports teams, the NBA’s Phoenix Suns are the only other team that plays their home games in downtown Phoenix (Talking Stick Resort Arena). The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes and NFL’s Arizona Cardinals play their home games in nearby Glendale, Arizona at stadiums that are adjacent to each other. Like the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Arizona Coyotes would also like to prematurely leave Gila River Arena; a venue that’s only 15 years old. The Phoenix Suns are hoping for a complete renovation of Talking Stick Resort Arena in order to make it a more modern NBA arena. However, Maricopa County doesn't have the funds to contribute to that project, either.


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