May 2, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Maricopa County announced a preliminary settlement to a lawsuit regarding who is responsible for repair work at Chase Field.
In the agreement, the Diamondbacks will be allowed to immediately begin searching for a new stadium in exchange for dropping the $187-million lawsuit against the county. Although the team’s lease at Chase Field runs through the 2027 season, the agreement allows the Diamondbacks to leave for a location elsewhere within Maricopa County by 2022 with no financial penalties.
District 4 Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman opposes the agreement. He issued the following statement:
There’s no one who wanted to resolve this dispute more than I, and for years, the County has been open to honest negotiations.
There are many positives about this MOU. As a season ticket holder, I am glad life and safety issues are a central component of the agreement. The potential $20 million we will be reimbursing the team when they leave concerns me as a taxpayer.
Ultimately, the county taxpayer expected the Diamondbacks to play at Chase Field for 30 years. Now they can leave tomorrow - without penalty — if MLB deems it necessary.
At some point, a contract should be a contract, especially when you’re talking about a commitment to the public.
While I appreciate the hard work of my colleagues in negotiating this deal, I cannot support it as is.