Judge rules in favor of Maricopa County, D-backs stadium talk heads to arbitration

A judges ruled that the Arizona Diamondbacks will have to honor their contract or resolve by means of arbitration.

PHOENIX - A Maricopa County judge has sent the legal battle involving the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chase Field to arbitration, ruling in favor of the county's Stadium District.

The judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the team against the District asking that they be allowed to pursue other stadium options.

The team's current lease, according to a county spokesperson, required the D-backs to play at Chase Field through the 2027 season. The team filed a lawsuit seeking to remove that clause in an effort to "preserve the status quo and prevent immediate and irreparable harm.”

The D-backs claim Maricopa County has failed to allocate some $187 million for maintenance and improvements. Maricopa County asked for the lawsuit to be sent to arbitration.

RELATED: MLB commissioner says Diamondbacks' Chase Field needs work

According to a county spokesperson, the judge said “the team is obligated under the FUA to play all games at the ballpark. Allowing the team to pursue alternative options or partnerships does not preserve the status quo of that obligation.”

“We are gratified that the court agreed with our arguments on all counts,” Grady Gammage, an attorney representing the Stadium District, said in a release. "Resolving this dispute through arbitration is better for the taxpayers rather than using expensive litigation.  We look forward to working through the issues as the arbitration proceeds.”

The Diamondbacks have not released a statement.

Chase Field is 19 years old.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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