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Glendale may face legal action from MLB teams over female locker rooms

In records obtained by 12News, attorneys for the Chicago White Sox argue MLB is requiring all clubs to have female locker rooms, and the city needs to fund them.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Glendale's city manager said the city is preparing to face legal action from two professional baseball teams over a dispute about installing women's locker rooms. 

During Tuesday's city council workshop, City Manager Kevin Phelps told the council how the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers are requesting the city install locker rooms for female employees at Camelback Ranch, the city's spring training facility. 

As of Tuesday's meeting, Phelps said at least the White Sox had notified the city of legal action, and Phelps expected the Dodgers would join. 

Records obtained by 12News show the White Sox have filed a Demand for Arbitration against Glendale. 

In it, attorneys for the team argue Major League Baseball requires female locker rooms of all clubs, including spring training facilities. The attorneys further argue that the city is violating another agreement with the teams by not providing them at Camelback Ranch. 

In city records, staff said the existing space at the ballpark can be modified for locker rooms and doesn't require capital improvements. 

A spokesperson for the City of Glendale told 12News the Dodgers have not officially joined the legal action by the White Sox.

Spokespeople for the teams both told 12News said they don't comment on active legal matters. 

"The city believes that this is a cost that should be borne by the teams and not the citizens of Glendale, the estimated net worth of these two teams exceeds $7 billion," Phelps said.

Phelps told the council Tuesday how the city funds $1.4 million a year to help maintain Camelback Ranch already. Adding the teams each pay $1 per year to the city per the lease agreement, and the city gets back about $60,000 in sales tax revenue. 

"On these kinds of things, we think that it's a fair request to have them operationally figure out how they're going to provide locker rooms for their female employees," Phelps said. 

Phelps told the council that the city attorney is prepared to represent Glendale over the issue. 

"I'm pretty disappointed and discouraged by the fact that legal proceedings will be we'll be moving forward," Phelps said. 

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