Maricopa County moves to sell Diamondbacks' ballpark Chase Field

Posted at 2:28 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 21:40:17-04

Maricopa County officials are taking steps to sell the downtown Phoenix ballpark that is the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The 5-0 vote held during a special meeting Wednesday afternoon allows the Arizona Diamondbacks to move ahead with the option to sell the stadium to Atlanta-based Integral Group, LLC.

Maricopa County set the minimum purchase price of Chase Field at $60 million, and current agreements would keep the team at Chase Field through the remainder of the deal.

The Maricopa County Stadium District currently owns the stadium, which opened in 1998.

Integral Group CEO Egbert Perry is also the chairman of the board for Fannie Mae, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.

The Diamondbacks and Maricopa County butted heads earlier this year over funding for renovations to Chase Field. D-backs president Derrick Hall asked for permission to explore new stadium options; the County denied that request.

The buyers have agreed to invest in upgrades to the facility. Over time, county supervisor Denny Barney said the facility has depreciated in value.

"Over time as you put millions of people through a facility like that, imagine the thousands of gallons of water needed after every game to clean it, imagine the wear and tear, all that compounded by the fact that the needs of Major League Baseball have shifted in the 20 years since it was designed and constructed," said Barney.

Supervisor Steve Chucri said, "gone are the days when taxpayers are going to fund stadiums, coliseums whatever you want to call it."