MLB commissioner: 19-year-old D-Backs stadium isn’t “major-league” anymore, trust me on this

Back in February, soon after the Arizona Diamondbacks sued Maricopa County to get out of their Chase Field lease because the county was refusing to pay for $187 million in maintenance and upgrades (most of them items that the lease appears to say are team responsibilities), MLB commissioner Rob Manfred chimed in that “to be a major league-quality stadium,” the stadium “needs work.” Apparently he thinks no one was listened then, because yesterday, he said it again:

Manfred spoke at the ballpark and reaffirmed statements supporting the club that he made during spring training. He said for Chase Field to remain a major league-quality stadium, substantial capital expenditures must be made. He said if they aren’t, there may come a point when the franchise seeks an alternative home.

Manfred said Major League Baseball has reviewed studies of state-of-the-art ballparks and determined what is required in renovation and capital investment.

“We concur wholeheartedly with the Diamondbacks’ position that there are substantial needs here with respect to this stadium, to keep it as a major league-quality stadium,” Manfred said.

This is, let’s remember, exactly the job that sports commissioners are hired for: Dropping vague move threats when team owners are too worried they’d get burned in effigy if they did so themselves. Manfred got off to a slow start in the blackmail-enabling department, but he seems to be getting the hang of it now. (That bit about “we’ve done studies of what state-of-the-art means” is an especially nice touch, since “state-of-the-art” is an inherently undefinable term that just means “whatever the next guy down the road has that this owner wants.”) Who he’s trying to convince, given that this is going to be decided by a court and not public opinion or an elected body, is anyone’s guess, but at least he’s proving that he can learn to be a more competent shill.


19 comments on “MLB commissioner: 19-year-old D-Backs stadium isn’t “major-league” anymore, trust me on this

  1. Sigh. My fantasy: the Diamondbacks win their case, and instead of upgrades the County issues a request for demolition proposals. Diamondbacks are unable to find another sucker, have to play at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.

    • Maybe they can play at the soccer field in Carson with the Chargers. Honestly, where are they going to threaten to go?

    • Good One!

      Would the level of non-support in Tampa outstrip the level of non-support they presently have in Phoenix?

      • It’s easy to pick on PHX & TB for being poor sports towns but have you noticed that there are LOTS of empty seats throughout MLB stadiums? Don’t believe the media hype or the MLB attendance figures; they are both smoke & mirrors to be used to extricate the municipal tools & their fanaticsl fools from their $$$…

        • Tickets sold, not turnstile count. All leagues count tickets not turnstile. MLS soccer counts tickets “distributed” so free tickets are also included in the attendance figures. NFL used to publish both attendees and no shows, but now just published tickets sold.

  2. “I may not know much about (state of the) art, but I know what I like”.
    ~variously ascribed.

    Someone remind me: Are the Diamondbacks still paying Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling?

  3. On another note, does anyone else see this as a tremendous opportunity for the city of Glendale to…. um…

  4. Maybe the D-backs and Coyotes should combine their blackmail threats with a sports complex proposal for a baseball stadium and arena. A two-fer.

    Then again, closeness hasn’t helped Glendale.

  5. Good to have a case that proves that even if the Rangers had stuck a sliding roof on the Ballpark in Arlington 23 years ago they’d have still tried to shake somebody down for something shinier and state of the artier.

  6. Rob Manfred apparently has not yet gotten this memo, that solves the stadium issues, if there are any, for Phoenix, Tampa, Oakland, and any team to be named later…
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/case-more-public-money-major-league-baseball-scott-myers

  7. Nice to see Bob Selig Manfred take a break from passing out juiced balls to getting to the basics of the MLB business model.

  8. Crazy thought but if you want the public to pay for stadium renovations then don’t sign leases spelling out how you will be responsible for them.

  9. Youknow what? I didn’t even read the article because the title says it all and it pisses me off. Do they really expect a new stadium every 15 years. I don’t know what he means by saying it’s “not major league anymore”. Does it have seats? Does it have bases? Does it have a dougout? Does it have an outfield? Then it’s a baseball field. Play ball and stop worrying about screwing the tax payers.

    This response goes out to to the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA and all those other sports conglomerates…

    Take your billions of dollars and build your own stadium. Time after time all the cities are threatened and they give into these BILLIONAIRES.

    They are promised everything and at the end of it all they get screwed and are stuck paying millions for nothing.

    I am an affid sports fan but I’m sick and tired hearing about how these BILLIONAIRES threaten the tax payers and they get away with it.

    I think all the cities should stick together and not give into these billionaires.

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