D-backs and Maricopa County reach agreement to allow team to look for new place to play

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The Arizona Diamondbacks and Maricopa County have reached a preliminary agreement that allows the team to look for a new stadium to play in and allows the county to get out of the stadium business.

For months now, the two have been meeting behind closed doors to discuss the future of the team at Chase Field. It began when the Diamondbacks asked the county to spend $187 million on repairs to the stadium. Since the county refused, the team wanted to look at new stadiums, which was against their contract.

“Diamondbacks have to agree that they will dismiss the lawsuit against the county which was looking to break the contract to play at Chase Field so they can look at other sites,” says Rebekah Sanders, the Arizona Republic reporter who has been covering this story since the beginning. “In this agreement, the team is going to get control over those repairs as well as a pot of money from the county. The county won’t be liable for the other repairs the team was saying they had to pay for.”

Over the course of the agreement, the county has agreed to give the team about $35 million. At the end of the agreement, the team will be given another $20 million. Sanders says the team will either have to put their own money into covering the remaining $137 million, or decide the stadium didn’t require that much money in repairs.

The Diamondbacks are allowed to look for a new place in a different city, county and even state. If they choose to remain in Maricopa County, then they can leave Chase Field in 2022, which is five years sooner than their contract originally allowed. They are also allowed to move out of state, but they would be charged with a penalty to break the lease.

The current rumor is that the Salt River Tribe will build them a new stadium for the regular season. There isn’t any concrete news on where the team will move, but they are allowed to start looking on Thursday.

Rebekah Sanders: Arizona Republic

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