Chase Field Sale

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An effort by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to sell Chase Field, where the Diamondbacks play, is not going as anticipated so far. Arizona Republic reporter Rebekah Sanders, who has been following the issue, will bring us up to date.

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TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON" -- THE PLANNED SALE OF CHASE FIELD IS NOT GOING AS EXPECTED. ALSO TONIGHT, ANOTHER VIEW ON LEVELS OF CHROMIUM-6 IN THE PHOENIX WATER SUPPLY. AND WE'LL SHOW YOU A DOOR-TO-DOOR EFFORT TO GET DROPOUTS BACK IN SCHOOL. THOSE STORIES NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

ANNOUNCER: "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU!

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS. THE MARICOPA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TODAY APPROVED $4.5 MILLION IN LEGAL FEES TO ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING GROUPS THAT SUED SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO IN A RACIAL PROFILING CASE. THE LAWYERS FROM THE ACLU AND THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN LEGAL AGAINST AND EDUCATION FUND WERE ORIGINALLY SEEKING $5.9 MILLION FROM THE COUNTY. THE ATTORNEYS SAY MOST OF THE FEES WERE ACCRUED DURING THE PAST THREE YEARS AS THE PARAGRAPHS SUCCESSFULLY TRIED TO HOLD ARPAIO AND HIS TOP AIDES IN CONTEMPT. THE SALE OF MARICOPA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO SELL CHASE FIELD IS NOT GOING AS ANTICIPATED. HERE WITH AN UPDATE IS "ARIZONA REPUBLIC" REBECCA SANDERS. WHAT'S GOING ON HERE.

REBECCA SANDERS: I WOULD SAY BASICALLY THEY WERE HOPING THAT TALKS WITH THE TEAM AND THE INVESTORS WOULD BE HAPPENING MORE QUICKLY AND THEY HAVEN'T GOTTEN TO THAT POINT SO WE'RE A MONTH OUT FROM WHEN THE COUNTY SUPERVISOR SAID WE HAVE THIS GREAT NEW IDEA AND STILL WAITING FOR SOME MEASURABLE PROGRESS.

TED SIMONS: SO NO MEETING AS YET WITH THE OUT-OF-STATE BUYER GROUP?

REBECCA SANDERS: CORRECT.

TED SIMONS: DO WE KNOW WHO THE OUT-OF-STATE BUYER GROUP IS?

REBECCA SANDERS: WE DON'T KNOW THE SPECIFIC IDENTITIES OF PERHAPS A VARIETY OF THE INVESTORS WHO MIGHT BE PUTTING IN MONEY HERE, WHAT WE KNOW THERE ARE TWO GROUPS, STADIUM PARTNERS, LLC OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. AND AN INTEGRAL GROUP THAT ARE BEING LED BY A GUY WHO IS THE CHAIRMAN OF FREDDIE MAC, WHO IS LEADING INTEGRAL GROUP OUT OF ATLANTA. ANOTHER WOMAN WHO IS LEADING THE PARTNERS GROUP OUT OF TORONTO AND THEY'RE ADVISED BY A HIGH-POWERED ATTORNEY IN SPORTS STADIUM DEALS. BUT WE DON'T YET KNOW MUCH ABOUT THEM, FOR INSTANCE, HOW MUCH MONEY OR DO THEY HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL OR WHO EXACTLY FROM OTHER STATES OR FROM ARIZONA MIGHT BE INVOLVED.

TED SIMONS: DO WE KNOW IF THE TEAM IS PART OF THIS BIG CONGLOMERATE?

REBECCA SANDERS: THE AGREEMENT FROM THE COUNTY FROM THESE INVESTOR GROUPS SAYS SPECIFICALLY WE HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP TO ANYONE WHO HAS AN INTEREST IN THE TEAM.

TED SIMONS: CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, THE INVESTOR GROUPS ARE TALKING TO THE TEAM BUT NOT THE COUNTY.

REBECCA SANDERS: ABOUT A MONTH AGO, THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AT THE COUNTY SAID WE'VE GOT AN IDEA TO SOLVE A DISPUTE THAT WE HAVE WITH THE TEAM OVER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS ALMOST $200 MILLION IN REPAIR THAT THE TEAM SAYS NEEDS TO BE DONE. THE CRONE HAS SAID, WE DON'T THINK -- THE COUNTY SAID WE DON'T THINK IT'S THAT MUCH AND DON'T THINK WE'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR AUTOMATIC OF THEM. UPGRADES AND PAINTING. THINGS LIKE THAT. THE COUNTY SAYS WE'RE JUST RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BIG TICKET ITEMS. BUT THEY'VE COME TO LOGGERHEADS. SO NOW THE IDEA IS, WELL, WHAT IF WE SELL THE STADIUM AND LAND TO PRIVATE INVESTORS WHO CAN TAKE THIS ON AND PAY THE REPAIR EXPERIENCE EXPENSES AND ALSO THEY COULD BUILD SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS AND OTHER THINGS OUTSIDE OF THE STADIUM AND PERHAPS INSIDE TO MAKE A RETURN ON THEIR MONEY. SO AGAIN, THE COUNTY GETS THAT OFF THE BOOKS. RIGHT, THE COUNTY WOULD SELL THE STADIUM FOR WHAT THEY'RE SAYING IS A MINIMUM OF $60 MILLION AND THEN THEY HAVE THE HEADACHE THAT'S GONE. SO THESE INVESTORS HAVE TALKED AT LENGTH WITH THE COUNTY. BUT WHAT THEY NEED TO DO NOW IS TO GET THE BUY-IN FROM THE TEAM. BECAUSE THE COUNTY -- THE TEAM BASICALLY HAS THE VETO POWER.

TED SIMONS: INTERESTING.

REBECCA SANDERS: AND IF THE TEAM ISN'T SATISFIED THAT THE INVESTORS ARE GOING TO MAKE A GOOD ENOUGH INVESTMENT IN THE STADIUM THAT THE TEAM WOULD FEEL GOOD PLAYING THERE, THE DEAL WOULDN'T WORK.

TED SIMONS: WERE THESE PEOPLE INVOLVED WITH THE FAILED ATTEMPT WITH THE OAKLAND RAIDERS?

REBECCA SANDERS: THIS IS INTERESTING. WE'RE TRYING TO DO BACKGROUNDING ON THE INVESTORS AND THEIR TRACK RECORD WITH THESE DEALS AND IT APPEARS THAT THE INTEGRAL GROUP, THE GROUP OUT OF ATLANTA MADE A PLAY TO BUILD A NEW STADIUM FOR THE OAKLAND RAIDERS AND DID IT WITH A COUPLE OF FORMER SPORTS STARS. AND WE'RE TALKING WITH THE CITY -- WERE TALKING WITH THE CITY FROM THE SPRING UNTIL EVEN A FEW MONTHS AGO BUT DOESN'T APPEAR THAT'S MOVING FORWARD. ACCORDING TO THE PRESS OUT OF THE OAKLAND. SO DOES THAT SIGNAL THAT THEY HAVE TRUCK OR RAISINGS MONEY OR SOMETHING, OR JUST THAT -- RAISING MONEY OR THAT THEY COULDN'T GET THAT DEAL TOGETHER BUT THEY COULD GET THIS ONE TOGETHER BECAUSE IT'S DIFFERENT.

TED SIMONS: SEEMS LIKE THE $60 MILLION ASKING PRICE RAISES EYEBROWS. IS THERE A PROPERTY APPRAISAL, HAPPENING OR GOING TO HAPPEN OR ALREADY OCCURRED?

REBECCA SANDERS: WHEN THE COUNTY PUT FORWARD THE PROPOSAL AND SAID OUR MINIMUM ASKING PRICE IS $60 MILLION, AND THIS APPEARED TO BE BASICALLY MUTUALLY AGREED UPON BETWEEN THE INVESTORS AND THE COUNTY. THIS WOULD BE THE FLOOR. SOME CRITICS SAID, WELL, THE COUNTY PUT IN SOMEWHERE AROUND $250 MILLION TO BUILD THIS THING. BACK IN '98. WHY ARE WE GETTING SUCH A SMALL RETURN. THE COUNTY OFFICIALS WILL SAY, WELL, THE REPAIR COSTS ARE A BIG WEIGHT ON THIS, DEPRECIATION AND OTHER ISSUES. SO TO SOLVE IN DISPUTE, THE COUNTY IS HOPING TO HIRE A WELL-KNOWN REAL ESTATE FIRM TO DO AN APPRAISAL ON THE PROPERTY. AND THEY PROMISED THAT IF THE APPRAISAL COMES BACK, SAYING, NO, THIS IS WORTH $200 MILLION, THAT THE FAIR MARKET VALUE WOULD BE ALL THEY WOULD ACCEPT. THEY WOULDN'T GO LOWER.

TED SIMONS: INTERESTING. I THOUGHT IT WAS INTERESTING, AS WELL, IN YOUR STORY THAT THEY DID POKE AROUND AT SELLING THIS THING SIX YEARS AGO. YEAH, IN 2010, THERE WAS THE QUESTION OF THE TEAM WANTING A LOWER RENT AND REPAIR COSTS AND THE COUNTY WAS LOOKING AT HOW CAN WE SOLVE THIS? THEY THOUGHT ABOUT SELLING THE STADIUM TO THE TEAM. THEY DID AN APPRAISAL. BUT IT WAS ONLY A DRAFT APPRAISAL AND BASICALLY CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THIS ISN'T -- THIS DOESN'T MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE BECAUSE OF THE PROPERTY TAXES.

TED SIMONS: YEAH.

REBECCA SANDERS: SO THEY WOULD HAVE TO DO SOME NEW YEARS TO GET AROUND THAT -- MANEUVERS AND THE QUESTION IS WILL THE PROPERTY TAXES BE ANOTHER STICKING POINT.

TED SIMONS: INDEED, I IMAGINE THE COUNTY HAS NO INTENTION OF WAIVING PROPERTY TAXES.

REBECCA SANDERS: THAT'S WHAT WE'VE HEARD FROM THE COUNTY SPOKESMAN AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THIS IDEA, THEY LEFT ROOM THAT THERE MIGHT BE TALKS ABOUT IT BUT YOU CAN IMAGINE THERE MIGHT BE OUTCRY FROM THE PUBLIC IF THERE'S A SUBSIDY GOING TO THESE PRIVATE DEVELOPERS.

TED SIMONS: BOTTOM LINE, AND BOY, THE STORY GOES ON FOREVER, DOESN'T IT? BOTTOMLESS WELL HERE. WHERE DO WE STAND RIGHT NOW ON THE SALE OF THE HOME OF THE DIAMONDBACKS?

REBECCA SANDERS: I WOULD SAY RIGHT NOW, WE'RE IN A HOLDING PATTERN. THE INVESTORS SAY WE'RE ANALYZING THE STADIUM AND SEEING WHAT WE THINK NEEDS TO BE REPAIRED AND GAMING OUT ALL OF THE COSTS AND REVENUES OVER TIME AND HOPE TO SIT BACK DOWN WITH THE DIAMONDBACKS SOON, I DON'T BELIEVE THAT THE DIAMONDBACKS ARE LEAPING FOR JOY AT THIS IDEA. SO THE INVESTORS WILL HAVE TO OFFER SOMETHING TO GET THE TEAM ON BOARD. AND -- AND, YOU KNOW, JUST -- TO SELL SOME OF THAT SKEPTICISM FROM THE TEAM AND ALSO FROM THE PUBLIC.

TED SIMONS: THE TEAM HAS GOT A CHOICE. YOU'VE GOT INVESTOR GROUPS THAT SAY THEY'LL DO X, Y, AND Z AND MAYBE PUT IN A RESTAURANT IN THE PROCESS. OR, NO, AND YOU AND THE COUNTY AT LOGGERHEADS AGAIN.

REBECCA SANDERS: AND POTENTIAL LITIGATION.

TED: SEEMS LIKE THE THING IS HEADED FOR COURT ACTION.

REBECCA SANDERS: WELL, THE TEAM HAS SAID THEY'RE WILLING TO BRING A LAWSUIT, BUT THEY HAVE NOT YET. AND I THINK IT WOULD BE COSTLY AND TAKE A LOT OF TIME FOR BOTH SIDES. BUT IT'S ALL A MATTER OF JUGGLING RISK. RIGHT? IF THE TEAM THINKS THAT THE LEASE AND ALL OF THIS IS ON THEIR SIDE AND THIS DEAL WITH PRIVATE INVESTORS IS NOT IN THEIR LONG-TERM INTEREST, PERHAPS WE GO THAT ROUTE BUT MAYBE AFTER TALKING WITH THE INVESTORS THEY'LL SEE IT'S A BETTER DEAL.

TED SIMONS: THEY WANT -- THEY'RE STUCK DOWNTOWN FOR A WHILE. GREAT REPORTING. GOOD INFORMATION. GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE.

REBECCA SANDERS: THANKS.

Rebekah Sanders

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