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Diamondbacks, Stadium District Reach Potential Settlement

Chase Field
Matthew Casey/KJZZ
Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.

The Maricopa County Stadium District and the Arizona Diamondbacks have reached a potential settlement in a legal battle over the future of Chase Field, and officials want the public to weigh in on the proposal before it goes to a vote on May 9. 

Tension over who should pay for $187 million dollars of work on Chase Field boiled over in January 2017, when the Diamondbacks sued the District for the right to look for a new home, and potentially leave town.

If the proposed settlement is approved, the Diamondbacks could look to rebuild Chase Field or relocate. The District, meanwhile, would invest no new taxpayer money on repairs or upgrades to the stadium.

The proposal would bring peace, said Jim Bruner, former chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who cut the original stadium deal in the 1990s.   

“I think it’s a positive agreement for both sides,” Bruner said.

Under the proposed settlement, the Diamondbacks would play at Chase Field until at least the end of the 2022 season, unless they move to another venue in Maricopa County, or Major League Baseball makes them leave Arizona due to the condition of the stadium. The Diamondbacks would pay the District millions of dollars in a buyout, if it left Maricopa County after 2022, and before 2027.

Ken Kendrick, managing general partner of the Diamondbacks, released a written statement.

“We are hopeful that this proposed memorandum of understanding will lead to the end of the long, arduous negotiation regarding the future of Chase Field,” the statement says. “We believe this will provide the best opportunity for the D-backs to remain in Arizona for the long term. Our primary focus remains the team on the field and providing our fans with the best experience in all of baseball.”

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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.