The Arizona Diamondbacks have filed a lawsuit, seeking relief from a contract that it has with the Maricopa County Stadium District, which prevents the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise from looking at other ballpark options if the county fails to properly maintain the facility.
At issue is renovation work that the team claims needs to be done at the 19-year-old facility, which is called Chase Field, to keep it “state-of-the-art” and “in good repair.”
The team seeks the removal of a clause, which prevents the Diamondbacks from seeking alternative stadium options until 2024.
In a statement, the team’s managing general partner, Ken Kendrick, said it was “extremely unfortunate” that the team has been forced to take legal action.
“We have made a promise to our fans, who have been partners with us on the building of this stadium and our franchise, to provide the best experience in all of baseball in a safe and welcoming environment,” he said. “The inability of the Maricopa County Stadium District to fulfill its commitments has left us with no other option.
“We have spent more than four years suggesting alternative solutions that would help the Maricopa County Stadium District hold up its end of our agreement, including multiple offers for us to assume all of the financial responsibilities they currently hold. All of our offers have been denied.”
The county said the Diamondbacks are essentially “suing their fans who helped build Chase Field. The team simply wants out of the contract that makes them stay and play through the 2028 season. Saying the facility is in disrepair is outrageous.
“The Maricopa County Stadium District has spent millions during the off-season on concrete and steel work that keeps the stadium safe and looking great for each baseball season.”
The plaintiffs disagreed, noting that the county has not managed the facility as profitably as it could have.
“Absent a dramatic and unprecedented increase in bookings by the District, there is no foreseeable increase in revenues that would cause the facility reserve accounts to grow to an amount that would be adequate to pay for the capital repairs needed over the remaining term of the agreements,” according to the complaint.