Brahm Resnik of FPNX is reporting that the Diamondbacks have asked their landlord at Chase Field for permission to negotiate for a new stadium. D-Backs CEO Derrick Hall wrote in a letter to the board of Maricopa County:
We are requesting that the Maricopa County Stadium District allow AZPB Limited Partnership (the team’s owner) the right to take such actions as it deems necessary in order to move and play Diamondbacks’ baseball games in a location other than Chase Field.
Hall issued a statement after this news went public:
Hall’s request was rejected by County Board Chairman Clint Hickman, saying that the lease was designed to protect taxpayers, as Chase Field was funded by taxpayer money. The Diamondbacks’ lease expires in 2028 but they can negotiate for a new stadium in 2024.
The Diamondbacks also recently discussed shifting ownership of Chase Field from Maricopa County to the city of Phoenix, which would allow the club more control. Hall, in 2012, said that such a shift would “boost revenue”, but a source of the Arizona Republic’s Craig Harris said that it would just lead to higher prices for fans. Former Phoenix mayor Skip Rimsza said, “It’s all about reducing the number of seats — and they can’t do it while the county still owns it. They are trying to push up the premium for the seats by having less of them.”
Chase Field opened in 1998 when the Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball as an expansion team. It has hosted one World Series, in 2001, and one All-Star Game, in 2011.