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D-backs reach deal with Maricopa County to drop Chase Field suit

(KTAR News Photo/Carter Nacke)
LISTEN: Monica Lindstrom, Arizona Sports & KTAR News legal analyst

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks reached an agreement with the Maricopa County Stadium District to drop their Chase Field lawsuit.

The agreement was revealed Wednesday with the release of a binding “memorandum of understanding” that changes the original deal between the baseball team and Maricopa County.

Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick said the deal paves the way for his club to secure its future in Arizona.

“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,” Kendrick said. “We believe this will provide the best opportunity for the D-backs to remain in Arizona for the long term.”

According to the memorandum, the county would pay no new public money toward stadium upkeep. The Diamondbacks would take control of the Chase Field, keeping revenue from all events at the stadium, and immediately be allowed to explore relocation or rebuilding.

The baseball team must play at Chase Field through the 2022 season. Then they’d be permitted to move to another facility in the county without penalty.

There would be penalties assessed between $5 million and $25 million if the team left the county before 2027.

In the original 30-year deal, which ran through 2027, the Diamondbacks couldn’t start exploring alternatives until 2023.

The Diamondbacks filed their lawsuit last year, seeking to break their lease at Chase Field because the county refused to pay for $187 million in repairs and upgrades to the stadium.

The team and the county were at odds for the last two years over the condition of the stadium.

In 2016, it was reported that the D-backs were considering ending their lease so they could find a newer, more updated ballpark. The team has called Chase Field home since its debut season in 1998.

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