Report: D-Backs Held Talks About Possibly Relocating To Nevada
Henderson, Nev., officials last year "quietly began a push" to lure the D-backs to their city, and although discussions have "stalled, the move signals Henderson's desire to grow as a professional sports-caliber city," according to Blake Apgar of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The city "nicknamed the effort 'Project Marble,'" and in a slideshow submitted to the D-backs, Henderson officials "highlighted what they thought could come of a major league ballpark and surrounding development." Renderings show a retractable-roof ballpark in "rapidly growing West Henderson, which city officials envision as a hub for sports and entertainment." The proposed ballpark "would have 32,000 seats and space for 4,000 standing-room-only ticket holders." The D-backs would "serve as the primary tenant for a 30-year term," and the ballpark would be "publicly owned and exempt from property tax." D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall and Henderson City Manager Richard Derrick "exchanged emails" over the course of months about the plan. The D-backs "expressed interest in creating a development at a potential new home, pointing to" The Battery Atlanta near SunTrust Park as inspiration. Talks with Henderson came months after the D-backs "struck an agreement with Maricopa County in Arizona to resolve issues" surrounding the aging Chase Field (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/1).
OUT OF LEFT FIELD: In Phoenix, Greg Moore notes the D-backs are "reiterating [their] desire" to remain in Arizona, but this news "represents the latest in a string of negative developments that are certain to test loyalties." The D-backs are "downplaying the report." Team officials said that they have "not reached out to MLB for permission to pursue relocation talks." It is "entirely possible that the news leaked because talks didn't progress as well as Nevada officials had hoped, and they wanted to make" the D-backs look bad. Moore: "But until we know more, we should keep watching and asking questions" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/2).