Judge Orders Speedy Schedule For D-Backs, Local Government To Resolve Ballpark Dispute
A Maricopa County (Ariz.) Superior Court judge ordered the D-backs and local government to "negotiate through arbitration and to set the talks on a speedy schedule," meaning a years-long dispute over "repairs and improvements to Chase Field could be over before the end of the year," according to Rebekah Sanders of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The team in January "filed a lawsuit to break its Chase Field lease," which goes through '27, "accusing the county of neglecting" up to $187M in ballpark repairs. The county said that it would have "enough money to cover significant capital repairs, but is not required to pay for upgrades county officials called cosmetic." Judge Karen Mullins' ruling is "vindication for the county, which had sought arbitration instead of a trial." County officials also noted that Mullins wrote the team is "obligated under the (agreements) to play all games" at the ballpark. But the D-backs "claimed victory as well." D-backs attorney Leo Beus said that it was a "win because the county had sought to delay the start of negotiations to next year." Grady Gammage, an attorney representing the county stadium district, said that he "doesn't see the resolution coming before the end of the year" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/18).