Diamondbacks Threaten to Move If Chase Field Doesn't Undergo Repairs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2016

Chase Field may be fewer than 20 years old, but the Arizona Diamondbacks are already considering playing elsewhere in the future.

Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic reported Thursday the team is upset that Maricopa County is unable to provide what it feels are necessary $187 million stadium renovations.

The Diamondbacks released a statement from chief executive Derrick Hall:

Harris noted the team's lease with the county runs through 2028, and ownership can't begin making concrete plans to move until at least 2024.

Baseball writer Ken Arneson joked plenty of teams would love to play in Chase Field:

Similarly, Brad Denny of 3TV Sports argued the stadium isn't in dire need of a makeover:

Thursday's news comes after the Arizona Coyotes and Phoenix Suns both ran into stadium issues of their own.

The city council for Glendale, Arizona, voted to terminate its lease with the Coyotes in June 2015, and the two sides eventually agreed to a two-year deal. According to ESPN.com's Scott Burnside, the plan in January was for the Coyotes to play in Glendale until they found a permanent home, potentially in Tempe, Arizona.

Meanwhile, the Suns' push for a new arena was mentioned as early as October 2012, per Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal.

In September 2015, Sunnucks also described what were "mythical blueprints" of new venues for the Diamondbacks and Suns on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Hall first publicly broached the topic of Chase Field renovations in a February interview on Arizona Sports 98.7's Doug and Wolf Show (via Steve Krafft of Fox 10). He argued the stadium is too big relative to the current demand.

According to ESPN.com, the Diamondbacks finished 23rd in attendance in 2015, averaging 25,680 fans a game. That represented only 52.9 percent of the stadium's capacity.

It will be particularly important that the club is able to draw fans this year after a busy offseason. According to Spotrac, the Diamondbacks climbed from 28th in team payroll in 2015 to 21st in 2016. Signing Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million deal was a sign of ownership's intentions.

Should Arizona fail to see a marked rise in attendance, it could only strengthen the team's resolve to either renovate Chase Field or seek a new home.

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