I stumbled across a news story yesterday on Bleacher Report that Major League Baseball was concerned about the state of Chase Field. In the article, the lawyer for the Diamondbacks cites two different incidents, the first being when a sanitation pipe burst and an air conditioning unit failed, that show that the city needs to update the stadium which the team has called home since 1998. Of course, the city attorneys claim that the team, who they call the facility managers, are just trying to leverage the city for money.
But the team’s attorney has a point, while the team is the primary users of the facility, the city is actually the owner. So it’s like the landlord of your apartment forcing you to pay for a pipe bursting and flooding your apartment because you manage the facility that is your apartment. Plus since the team has been playing there since ’98, the stadium is most likely due for an upgrade not only in the structural things like new piping or air conditioning units, but just for the overall stadium experience for fans.
Do I think that these issues could force the MLB to force the Diamondbacks to move? No. I think that the MLB wouldn’t want the team to move unless it was a dire situation because that would mean taking baseball out of Arizona, which is highly unlikely. The MLB wants to have baseball in Arizona all season instead of just during spring training. Plus the stadium would have to be literally falling apart and the city not budging for months on paying for the upgrades for the league office to step in and force the team to move.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the court room because if it doesn’t go the way in which the team wants, it is possible that the Diamondbacks try to find somewhere else in the state of Arizona to play or even moving completely out of the Grand Canyon state.
Stay tuned for updates as the story develops.