Diamondbacks courted Henderson, Nevada for a $1B stadium (then stopped, but still)


Last year, Henderson [Nevada] officials quietly began a push to lure the Arizona Diamondbacks from the team’s Phoenix home to their city, records obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal show.


According to the presentation, Henderson hired a consultant to conduct a financial analysis, assuming the ballpark would have 32,000 seats and space for 4,000 standing-room-only ticket holders. The Diamondbacks would serve as the primary tenant for a 30-year term and the stadium would be publicly owned and exempt from property tax.

The consultant estimated the ballpark would cost about $1 billion to construct.


On Jan. 4, [Derrick] Hall, the team’s CEO, sent Derrick an email with the subject line, “Have not forgotten you!”

“Hopefully there is still strong interest there as we go through the MLB motions,” he wrote.

Let’s be clear about one thing: Given the relative sizes of their media markets, the Arizona Diamondbacks owners are extremely unlikely to leave Phoenix for the Las Vegas area anytime soon. (The last contact between the two parties was apparently in February.) But that doesn’t mean they won’t play footsie with Nevada as a way of scaring Phoenix into coughing up that new stadium that they badly want it to, just as it won’t stop Henderson — a small city near Las Vegas that is best known for paying to build a Vegas Golden Knights practice facility and previously suing a developer who promised to build an NFL stadium there but didn’t — from getting free media impressions by exchanging a few emails with an MLB team exec.

Still, it’s another sign that there are still plenty of cities out there eager to fill the threat gap that MLB has had ever since putting a team in Washington, D.C., and that MLB teams are happy to have them do so. The D-Backs’ stadium demands have been in a bit of a holding pattern of late, but I’ve got a feeling they’re likely to heat up real soon now.

18 comments on “Diamondbacks courted Henderson, Nevada for a $1B stadium (then stopped, but still)

  1. Neil they’re not building a Golden Knights practice facility they’re building an ice rink that will be operated by the Golden Knights, it will be used for public skating and youth hockey. It’s the Sharks operate a facility in Oakland, don’t practice there, and the city owns it.

  2. I keep hoping that someone will rid us of these parasitic grifters, but I fear we will end up outbidding the other idiots and shoveling still more public money into the bottomless maw of greed known as professional sports.

  3. Neil, I disagree. Baseball is a dying sport. That is why I keep harping on the point that if they are going to expansion/relocation at the very most we are talking less than 10 years if not 5. Nobody in the 2030’s is going to want anything to do with baseball let alone built a billion dollar stadium. I have seen articles on this over the years. Officials from LV, Charlotte, and Nashville have all said build it yourself. The average age of a fan in baseball is 57. What’s it going to be in 2030. Montreal and Portland are the only realistic places to put a team and have some success. But their window isn’t going to be that long. Sorry baseball you need to get the Oakland and Tampa situation solved in the next few years or your out of luck

    • As far as Portland’s potential as a MLB destination, as convenient a travel destination as it would be for fans and the Mariners (The I-5 road trip series?), I don’t believe the city has the corporate dollars/largesse to support the sport.

      • I don’t know how they would be as a market. Right now it has a consortium of investors and they are pretty organized. Their biggest selling point is no competition from the NFL, residents with high disposable income and surveys have indicated huge interest in the sport. Successful, maybe, maybe not. LV will be TB West. Charlotte and Nashville won’t get off the ground. Portland is nothing to sneeze at

    • MLB’s fanbase always skews older. In 2030, it’ll be today’s average 46 year old who will then be 57.

      • Millennials haven’t embraced the sport. (unless you live in Chic Why would they embrace when they get older

        • Millennials will not be a significant marketing demographic in 2025, let alone 2030. They will all be wiped out by a presently emerging toxic avocado fungus.

          Maybe then employers will actually be able to hire someone who is interested in doing their job, rather than just interested in how their employer can enhance their personal brand as employees.

          Of course, the new hires will be 72 year olds… but still. I’d take that trade.

    • MLB continues to rake in money and makes significantly more revenue than even the NBA, second only to the NFL. It’s not going anywhere and it’s a trope that it’s dying. People are still going to games and still watching on regional networks.

      • Exactly. I’ve been hearing that baseball is a ‘dying 19th century sport’ since the 1970s.

        If true it appears it will be a three century slow motion demise.

        What the demographic arguments always fail to take into account is that the “mix” of young and old fans doesn’t tend to change that much over longer periods of time. Since 70 year old fans can’t attend games for 5 more decades, obviously they are being replaced…

        • You can find a reference in the three volume biography of Connie Mack of a writer in 1915 saying kids weren’t interested in baseball, just movies and vaudeville. Baseball historian John Thorn can point out other examples with people saying baseball was losing fans to golf, softball and even skeet shooting(!).

          The recent book about the Yankees “Inside the Empire” talks about how they realize that the older truck-driver fan is getting priced out and they are learning from NYCFC soccer team how to make the stadium experience better for millenials.

      • I don’t pay much attention to total revenue since there are more opportunities to earn more in MLB than any other sport (double the number of games and stadia capacity as the NBA). I pay attention to per-game revenues; in which the NBA and NFL drawfs MLB. Those are facts.

        The sport is not dying but it isn’t growing at the rate the other 2 are. Heck even the NFL isn’t growing at the rate that the NBA is. The MLB commissioner knows this and is attempting to appeal to the younger demographic who in 20 years will be the present demographic.

        Personally I love the nuance and strategy behind baseball. It can be a bit slow at times but at its peak it’s a riveting sport.

  4. Henderson isn’t a “small city.” It’s a huge suburb with a population over 300,000 – the equivalent of Anaheim or Arlington.

    • I live in Las Vegas and Henderson is a small city. It doesn’t come close to having the corporate support to finance a professional franchise.

    • It’s not city size that matters — Columbus has incorporated a huge area — it’s media market size. Columbus is just slightly smaller than Hartford-New Haven on that score.

  5. Grrr! I hate the raiders and they’re coming. I loooove the Diamondbacks and they’re “playing footsie”….