What is this, mysterious private developer interest in rebuilding sports venues week? The private group that expressed interest in buying the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ Chase Field from Maricopa County then didn’t bother showing up for any meetings to discuss the plan have instead taken their case to the Arizona Republic:
“For decades the Arizona taxpayer has funded billions of dollars for the construction and renovation of stadiums and arenas,” wrote Nick Wood, a Valley attorney for the private investors, Stadium Real Estate Partners II LLC. “Today, my client, together with real estate developer Egbert Perry, Chairman of Fannie Mae and President of Integral Group LLC, has stepped up to relieve the taxpayer of that extraordinary expense and seeks to not only purchase Chase Field, but to also construct a brand new, state-of-the-art, downtown baseball stadium for the Diamondbacks using all private money.”
What’s undisclosed: the proposed location of a new stadium in downtown Phoenix, when construction could begin and the cost, which likely would run to the hundreds of millions. Wood would not clarify any of those questions.
So, yeah. This is a complicated three-way dance between the county, the D-Backs owners, and these would-be private stadium developers, but so far we’re barely at the dueling press releases stage. Promising a brand-new stadium with all private money is certainly a great way to get attention — and hey, if it’s for real, more power to them. If anyone here thinks it’s likely to be for real, please raise your hand. Then see me after class for a remedial lesson in sports venue operations financing.