County to D-Backs: Most of $187m in upgrade demands is items team agreed to pay for

Maricopa County responded to the Arizona Diamondbacks owners’ demands for at least $187 million in improvements to Chase Field plus maybe additional tax subsidies with a letter of their own this week, which you can read in its entirety here. The key bit, though, is this:

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 3.17.25 PMTranslated, this means: Okay, you keep saying our 2013 study of possible repairs/improvements to Chase Field lists $187 million in needed work. But $55 million of that is your own operations and maintenance expenses, and another $90 million is wish-list stuff that is explicitly excluded from the county’s obligations. So, WTF?

I also asked a county representative about that “Non-Obsolescence Fund” that the Diamondbacks can draw on if they agree to extend their lease: Right now it has a whopping $460,000 in it, so that’s not really worth worrying about.

To my knowledge, D-Backs execs haven’t yet responded to this letter — but then, they wouldn’t need to, if their concern is less legal niceties than trying to drum up an urgency to fix their stadium situation out of thin air. Whether Maricopa County stadium officials see this as a crisis or not, the media certainly does, which means elected officials are likely to as well, and that can be enough to set the ball rolling on hundreds of millions of dollars shifting pockets. A contract may be a contract, but when you’re seen as a 700-pound gorilla, you don’t need to sweat the fine print.

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6 comments on “County to D-Backs: Most of $187m in upgrade demands is items team agreed to pay for

  1. Beautiful response. As a long-time corporate drone I can really appreciate the dry-as-dust yet utterly devastating nature of this letter. Figures and citations don’t make for BuzzFeed-worthy headlines, but they are the stuff of life in these matters.

    Until the pols get involved, of course. Then all bets are off.

  2. I can’t wait to plead with the Minnesota state legislature this week for a new ballpark. Target Field is obviously not working.. We could be 0-162, and it’s all of how outdated Target Field is.

  3. Oh OK, because someone says this, it must be true? There is a lot more to this than pulling out something that fits your cause. Complete truth has never been anything you seek. You just choose to tilt things to support your opinion.

    It works I guess, you seem to be making a living off of saying so much and really effecting nothing.

    1. Hey, James:

      If you want to take your entire paycheck and sign it over to the Diamondbacks be my guest.

      Maybe you could send some my way, because after all I signed a mortgage agreement for my house, and now 15 years later the old girl needs some updates.

      Damn if the bank just won’t give me some of the monies my neighbors paid for their houses to use on mine. Gratis, of course. Because I have to keep up with the neighbors, and you can’t expect me to use my own money, can you?

  4. I’m glad we have James Jerome here, because he provides such perfect examples of what would be violations of the “no personal attacks” policy if directed at anyone but me. (Not that I like being personally attacked, but I know I’m not going to start a flamewar over it.) Note the way he doesn’t actually engage with the content of the topic at all, but instead turns this into casting aspersions against the motivations of the person he’s arguing with? If you want to get banned from commenting here, follow his lead.

    And if you want to speculate on his motivations, do them on your own time. We’re not here to get into his personality — though if anyone can come up with a good term for this particular form of trollcraft, I think the world needs one.

  5. If I’m Maricopa county I tell the Dbacks I’ll see you in court.

    Even if the lease was up this year, where are they going to go?

    A team isn’t moving to Montreal unless a shovel is in the ground for a new park. They’ll only play at the Stade temporarily.

    There are no other cities capable of taking on MLB right now.

    These government entities need to follow Oakland’s lead and exploit leverage when the have it.

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