Arizona Diamondbacks: Lawsuit Against Maricopa County Dropped

Here is hoping there are many outstanding D'back highlights at Chase Field in 2014. Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Here is hoping there are many outstanding D'back highlights at Chase Field in 2014. Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Diamondbacks ended their lawsuit against Maricopa County.

If a continuous relationship was building between the county of Maricopa and the Arizona Diamondbacks over improvements to Chase Field, that clash is now put at ease.

That’s because the county came out on Feb. 10 and said a lawsuit filed by the Diamondbacks against the county is moot. Under an agreement between the owner, the county of Maricopa and the tenant, the Arizona Diamondbacks, lawsuits are prohibited and in the words of a brief filed, “this dispute is subject to mandatory contractual arbitration.”

Now, a third-party will resolve differences between the county and the Diamondbacks. That is if the Diamondbacks continue to push for what they consider to be relief.

This stems from the Diamondbacks’ insistence that upgrades to Chase Field are necessary. The team estimated costs to be around $187 million in capital repairs over the next $12 years and wants the county to pay. The county responded by saying the proposed cost was inflated and the structure in downtown Phoenix remains in good condition. Because the county did not agree with them, the Diamondbacks then took independent action and commenced litigation.

In early January of this year, the Diamondbacks sued the Maricopa County Stadium District to break its’ lease. Because the county failed to maintain the stadium in a reasonable manner, the lawsuit contends, the Diamondbacks are within their legal rights to terminate the lease and move to another location.

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The stadium, built as the BOB (Bank One Ballpark) now called Chase Field, was opened in 1998 and is now the fifth oldest ballpark in the National League. The cost was $354 million, and the Diamondbacks and the county signed a 30-year lease. The current lease expires in 2028.

In their desire to break the lease, the Diamondbacks say the county remains unresponsive to their needs.

The baseball team contends the structure needs fundamental change, such as an installation of a new air-conditioning unit, upgraded scoreboards, and other improvements which would total that $187 million. If the county does not address these expenditures, the Diamondbacks sought to terminate the existing lease and seek a new home.

In the lawsuit filed on Jan. 3, 2017, the Diamondbacks contended the county was not prepared to meet the baseball team’s view of improvements. Since, the county came forward to said it would address structural changes to the building, such as a new air-conditioning unit. Other changes, such as replacement the original out-of-town scoreboards are cosmetic, and the Diamondbacks would have to absorb that cost.

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As part of this capital improvements project, the Diamondbacks seek improvement to suites, the dugouts, concession stands, locker rooms, renovating party lounges, replacing scoreboards and structural repairs to replace steel and concrete, and the existing air-conditioning unit.

A correction

On Feb. 10, Venom Strikes reported the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped a lawsuit against Maricopa county. In this action, it was Maricopa county that responded to the lawsuit with a motion to dismiss and compel arbitration.

Venom Strikes regrets the error.