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Arizona Diamondbacks Sue Maricopa County Over Chase Field

Chase Field in downtown Phoenix
file | agency |
Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced they are suing their stadium landlord for the right to probe the possibility of leaving downtown Phoenix.

Maricopa County owns Chase Field, and the agreement with the Diamondbacks bans the club from negotiating a move to a different stadium until at least 2024.

The lawsuit, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, claims the future of Chase Field is in jeopardy. The lawsuit alleges such uncertainty puts the Major League Baseball franchise at risk and team officials cannot wait any longer to look at alternatives.

The team and the county feuded publicly for most of 2016 over who should pay for about $187 million in stadium upgrades and repairs.

“It is extremely unfortunate that we have been forced to take action today following several years of attempts to resolve this matter out of court,” said Ken Kendrick, Diamondbacks managing general partner, in a prepared statement. “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. The inability of the Maricopa County Stadium District to fulfill its commitments has left us with no other option.”

Clint Hickman, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, also released a prepared statement:

“It is disappointing the Diamondbacks are 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.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been modified to reflect specific claims in the lawsuit.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.