Arizona Diamondbacks Seek Quick Path To Arbitration

Published: Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 10:17am
Updated: Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 3:49pm

(Photo via maricopa.gov)
Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.

The Arizona Diamondbacks want to at least explore the possibility of leaving Chase Field before their lease ends in 2027. And they’ve sued the Maricopa County Stadium District for the right to do so.

A lawyer for the Arizona Diamondbacks said the club is willing to use arbitration to resolve its legal dispute with the Maricopa County Stadium District but only if it happens quickly.

The sides met in Maricopa County Superior Court for the first time Tuesday, almost seven months after the club sued the Stadium District for the right to at least explore leaving Chase Field before the lease expires at the end of the 2027 season.

The Diamondbacks originally asked for a jury trial. The Stadium District countered with a motion to dismiss and compel arbitration. The sides have negotiated since March, but have been unable to reach an agreement on the timeline.

“We have needed to sit down with the team and work out a reasonable schedule,” said Grady Gammage Jr., attorney for the Stadium District. “Every time they’ve tried to do that, they’ve essentially wanted to accelerate the timing, and we just think that’s unrealistic.”

Arbitration could start in February, Gammage said.

A lawyer for the Diamondbacks said his client can’t wait until 2018 to start the process because recent maintenance issues have drawn the attention of Major League Baseball, and it takes years to explore other venues.

The judge told the parties it could be up to two weeks before she rules on whether the case heads for trial or arbitration.

To hear an interview with KJZZ's Matthew Casey on The Show, click here.

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