Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and one of the oldest ballparks in Major League Baseball (MLB), could be set to change hands after Maricopa County officials signed a letter of intent to sell the venue.
The county’s Stadium District Board of Directors unanimously voted to sign the letter of intent, clearing the way for real estate development and investment management services firm Integral Group to negotiate to buy Chase Field for a minimum price of $60m (€54.1m). “We are here today to protect the taxpayer,” board chairman Clint Hickman said, according to the Associated Press news agency. “This is the best of what private business can offer.”
Officials said any sale will not affect current agreements to keep the Diamondbacks at the ballpark through to the end of the team's contracted tenancy in 2027. The team, which moved into the Phoenix venue as a MLB expansion franchise in 1998, will have ultimate approval over any deal.
The county and team officials have argued over who is obligated to finance around $187m in renovation work for the ballpark over the next 12 years. The AP said a lawyer representing Atlanta-based Integral Group has already told county officials that the potential investors want to keep the Diamondbacks at Chase Field and would complete stadium improvements agreed on by the team within a two-year window.
Chase Field is owned entirely by the county and is currently the fifth oldest ballpark in the National League.