Diamondbacks Trying to Slither Out of Chase Field Deal

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The Arizona Diamondbacks’ dispute with Maricopa County over the state of Chase Field may have reached a tipping point.

According to a report from Yahoo Sports, Leo Beus, the Diamondbacks attorney, told a Superior Court Tuesday that the team may have to move if Maricopa doesn’t pony up the funds to make repairs to Chase Field. Beus said Major League Baseball is very concerned about the situation. “If Major League Baseball decides they want to create issues for us, there might not be baseball at all in Arizona.,” Beus said. “We’d like to keep the franchise in place. We’d like to make peace with Major League Baseball, not that we’re at war.”

The Diamondbacks have been seeking to get out of their lease and find a new home for some time, as Chase Field – home of the 2011 All Star Game – has fallen into disrepair over a dispute about who’s responsible for upkeep on the 22-year-old facility.

In March, the Diamondbacks sued Maricopa County, which owns Chase Field, for $65 million to cover outstanding repairs to the stadium. The Diamondbacks say Chase Field has recently seen broken sanitation pipes and an air-conditioning failure during a power outage.

Maricopa County officials argue that as “the facility manager,” the Diamondbacks are responsible for upkeep of the facility.

Cameron Artigue, an attorney representing Maricopa County, said the Diamondbacks are trying to paint the county as bad landlords. "This (lawsuit) has nothing to do with the water leaks and the merits of Chase Field," Artigue told AZcentral.com. "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?"

The judge overseeing the dispute, Karen Mullins, told the Arizona Republic that she’ll make a decision on whether to send the matter to trial or arbitration within the next two weeks. 

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