For the past year almost year and a half the Arizona Diamondbacks and Maricopa County have been battling over who should pay for the damages that Chase Field has suffered over the years.
Dating back to last spring the Diamondbacks were told that Chase field required $187 million in repairs in an inspection that Maricopa County itself put on. The Diamondbacks refused to pay for the repairs and are even attempting to sue the County over who pays for the repairs.
Well things have gotten so out of hand that Major League Baseball has gotten involved. Per Rebekah L. Sanders of the Arizona Republic. The MLB has threatened to move the team from Phoenix.
Major League Baseball officials are so alarmed by recent equipment breakdowns at Chase Field that they might require the Arizona Diamondbacks to leave Phoenix unless the county government pays for millions of dollars in stadium repairs, an attorney for the team warned Tuesday.
It’s the first time the team has indicated that MLB is directly involved in the dispute, ramping up pressure in its long-running lawsuit against Maricopa County.
This is in response to the recent pipe burst in multiple suits and conference rooms at Chase Field. Sanders goes on to explain the pipe burst incident.
Beus cited two incidents in June: a sanitation pipe that burst in an office, and an air-conditioning system that failed after a downtown-wide power surge.
The air-conditioning pipes flooded suites, restaurants, an office and a gym hours before a game, drawing complaints from fans who got wet or had to sit in warm indoor temperatures, he said.
Because of the breakdowns, MLB engineers will visit in a few days to evaluate Chase Field, Beus said.
League spokesman Matt Bourne declined comment on Beus’ claims.
However, Cameron Artigue, a private attorney representing Maricopa County, called the Diamondbacks argument a red herring.
“This (lawsuit) has nothing to do with the water leaks and the merits of Chase Field,” he said. “The Diamondbacks are the facility manager. When a pipe breaks, that is a Diamondbacks problem. And that is, in fact, what happened. They got out the mops and they mopped it up, and life goes on. It’s a big facility and sometimes pipes break. So what?”
County spokesman Fields Moseley said the team is publicizing the incidents “to try to bolster the point that, ‘Oh we’re horrible landlords.’ “
Moseley pointed to contracts outlining the team’s responsibility for the chiller system and questioned why Diamondbacks officials did not notify the county about the flooding, bring the issue up at a facilities meeting, or request payment for repairs if the team believes the county is on the hook.
Before we go on I love how the private attorney for Maricopa County tries to downplay the pipes breaking and flooding the suite. Could you imagine if you were a season ticket holder and you go to a suite and it was flooded and someone said: “So what its just a pipe burst and a little water no one is going to die here.” That has to be an all time downplay of a shitty situation.
To end the article Sanders explains how the court situation could go between the two sides.
Tuesday’s court hearing was supposed to determine whether the team’s grievances would be decided in court or through arbitration, which typically is a faster and less expensive process to resolve disputes.
If the Diamondbacks and county go to arbitration, the main sticking point is timing.
Grady Gammage Jr., also representing the county, said depositions could take months, leading to a start date for arbitration in February or beyond.
That’s too long for the Diamondbacks and MLB to wait, Beus argued.
Should the parties go to arbitration, another question is whether it will be private, as is usual, or open to the public, since it is a matter of taxpayer concern.
The Diamondbacks are “crystal clear” about wanting to conduct the negotiations in the open, Beus said.
“The owner of the Diamondbacks (Ken Kendrick) wants the public to have access to everything. That’s been an important piece of all of our negotiations,” he told The Arizona Republic.
The county has not yet fully committed to the idea.
“We have no objection to transparency,” Gammage said, but “frankly, that will slow it down” because attorneys won’t be as open with each other if news reporters are listening.
Even if the proceedings are private, he said, the county Board of Supervisors will not be able to sign a deal with the team without discussing it at a public meeting.
Superior Court Judge Karen Mullins said she would decide within two weeks whether to hold a trial or send the case to arbitration.
This whole situation is a mess but I am 100% on the Diamondbacks side in this situation. Normally I hate it when teams make the fans pay for stadiums, I think its dumb to make fans pay for a stadium that they do not have easy access to. It is dumb that the peoples tax dollars go to build a stadium that you have to pay $40 for a ticket, $20 to park, $7 for a hot dog, and $10 for a beer. Especially here in Arizona where the schools and highways are shit.
Arizona is growing at a rapid rate and I am all for not putting our money into stadiums that billionaires can pay for. We need better schools, better highways, and better public transportation.
I am on the Diamondbacks side because Maricopa County owns the stadium! When Kenny Chesney plays at Chase field the County gets the profit. Maricopa County is the reason you can’t drink on the plaza. Maricopa County should have to pay for the repairs.
This is a tenant vs landlord battle. When you rent a home or an apartment and your AC goes out, or your plumbing breaks, you call your landlord and they send out a guy to fix it and no money comes out of your pocket.
If Maricopa County can not pay for these repairs or flat out doesn’t want to thats fine. They should sell the stadium to the team or a group of investors who can.