When the Arizona Diamondbacks signed a deal with the Maricopa County Board about their new stadium, part of the deal was that the county would upgrade and maintain the BOB or Chase Field as it is called now, in a regular fashion.
I guess you can guess what has happened. Maricopa County has not upgraded or maintained Chase Field in any possible way. Due to the lack of regular upgrades, the stadium is falling behind to modern day’s standards. Right now the stadium is ranked as the 15th oldest stadium in MLB and next year they will move up a place when the new stadium of the Braves will be christened.
So in an attempt to force the county to upgrade the stadium, the Diamondbacks have requested for a release from the current stadium lease in a letter to Arizona Sports:
“We are requesting that the Maricopa County Stadium District allow AZPB Limited Partnership the right to take such actions as it deems necessary in order to move and play Diamondbacks’ baseball games in a location other than Chase Field.”
The Maricopa County has announced that it will not be able to meet the obiligations of the contract. The current overdue maintenance will cost the county a whopping $187 million.
The next step for the Diamondbacks is a lawsuit, either to force the county to start with maintaining / upgrading the ballpark or to be cut loose from the current lease.
Both parties play foul in this case. If the county doesn’t have the money to maintain the balllpark, it should not have signed a deal with the Diamondbacks. On the other hand, this proves once again that if an owner wants to settle his ball club in a city, he should be able to pay for the ballpark himself. If you can’t, just don’t buy an MLB club but try something smaller like an MiLB club.
To be continued without a doubt.