ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

What changes could come if Diamondbacks opt to renovate Chase Field?

Feb 21, 2023, 12:20 PM

The Arizona Diamondbacks know they need to either refurbish Chase Field or find a new place to play prior to the lease’s end, which runs through the 2027 MLB season.

The pressure to look toward a future in a new or refurbished stadium touches both on and off the field issues for the organization.

However, when it comes to making Chase Field’s nearly 50,000-seat capacity feel smaller, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta during Newsmakers Week on Tuesday that might not be possible.

“I don’t think you’re ever going to get away from that cavernous feel. It’s never going to feel as intimate as you want it to, but I think we can bring it up to speed, up to code when it comes to premium locations,” Hall said.

“We just don’t have them. We don’t have the four-tops or the private feeling sections in the seats. We can create all of that. We can redo the concourses. We can bring that stadium to a modern feel if we’re indeed going to stay there and make it look more modern, make it look more new.”

A couple of Valley sports teams have already given a glimpse as to what might happen for the D-backs, as the Phoenix Suns spent $230 million to refurbish Footprint Center in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes plan to build an entire entertainment district around their proposed Tempe stadium, which would be harder to do downtown than it would be in currently unoccupied land.

And while some fans may not like the team’s financial model compared to the likes of big spenders within the division like the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, a stadium improvement will eventually trickle its dividends to both the fans and out on the diamond.

“The whole point is we need to increase, and it’s on me and it’s on our business staff, we need to increase our revenues,” Hall said.

“Because the more we can increase our revenues — the model is it goes right back into the payroll or any of the experience our fans are going to have at the ballpark.”

The Diamondbacks’ ownership group is willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the Maricopa County-owned Chase Field, but as with anything in business, it has to be the right deal for all parties involved.

However, both Hall and general managing partner Ken Kendrick have voiced their desire to stay downtown in the only ballpark the D-backs have ever played in and where they won the Valley’s only major sports championship.

“As far as making it feel a little closer to one another and smaller and that huge upper level, I’m not sure we’re ever going to really be able to address that,” Hall added.

“But I think fans are OK. They’ve got great memories there, they love it. And we hear that from fans too, ‘I hope it works out. I hope you can stay at Chase because my family has grown up there.’ I’m proud of that.”

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