Hall: Arizona Diamondbacks ‘have no plans of going anywhere’ amid stadium uncertainty

Feb 20, 2024, 12:28 PM | Updated: 12:46 pm

Derrick Hall celebrates...

President, CEO and General Partner Derrick Hall of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates after beating the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Seven of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Disappointment is at the forefront for Arizona Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick and president and CEO Derrick Hall with another spring training underway and nothing new from a stadium standpoint with the lease at Chase Field expiring in 2027.

But while Kendrick mentioned the possibility of looking outside of Phoenix as the team continues to find ways to get to work, the search does not extend past state lines.

Speaking with Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Tuesday, Hall clarified Kendrick’s comments after the managing partner ventured into talking about other major cities eyeing MLB franchises a day earlier.

“I could see why it would become a headline and it did. If you look at the comments that Ken made … what he did was he obviously went to there are cities that have an interest in teams, because those rumors are out there,” Hall said. “Not about us, but of cities that are trying to lure teams or want to be an expansion city and they’re ready to go and they’re getting the legislative support and all that.

“He went there to say, ‘We’re not talking to them. We’re not engaged with them. We want to be here.'”

Kendrick’s comments took center stage on Monday after he dove into Arizona’s frustrations that a new stadium deal was not in place despite the team’s readiness to get to work. Renovating Chase Field and sticking in downtown Phoenix remain the ideal outcome for the team, though there have been conversations with other “local interested parties.”

Kendrick took things a step further, acknowledging there are cities outside the state that would “be very happy adding a successful existing franchise.”

But at the end of the day, “Chase Field reimagined” is the plan Kendrick and Hall want to implement.

“We have no plans of going anywhere. … We’re just trying hard to get everything settled with the municipalities that will work with us so we can stay at Chase,” Hall said. “We want to invest significant amounts of dollars into that ballpark. We love being downtown. We don’t want to be anywhere else. The clock has been ticking for quite some time, so the frustration that was stated or expressed is moreso about the timing.

“We’ve been at this a long time and we haven’t gotten to finality, so we’re just looking for answers so that we can get the shovel in the ground and make sure we can schedule it out. It’s going to take phases of say 3-4 years, because of the offseason events that we have, the concerts, the bowl games and we need to make sure to do it in a very non-disruptive way when we can finally begin.”

Of the upgrades needed at Chase Field — which first opened in 1998 — half of the $400-500 million the team is looking at to put back into the ballpark, half of that number would go into improving the infrastructure of the building. Of the things that need addressing, leaks, piping issues, HVAC and the roof are among the top of the list.

The other half of the investment into Chase Field that Hall mentioned Tuesday would include providing better club and child experiences and even adding larger and more comfortable chairs. The team would also look into revamping the surrounding areas of the ballpark for fans to enjoy before or after games.

“When you look at the other cities that are similar to us — our counterparts that are trying to do the same thing — they’re getting a lot of support,” Hall said. “We’re not asking for what those other teams and cities are asking for, but we’re seeing $500 million in places. We’re not asking for anything like that. We’re saying, ‘We’ll put in more than you will if you want to partner with us.’ Because if it’s county, city, state or all three, we’re just looking for partnership and just a little bit of help. We’re ready to go, we’re ready to push our sleeves up and get going on this renovation.

“We’ve got lots of ideas,” he added. “We’ve been working with architects over the years and some of that is going to change. We’re still going to go visit other ballparks and see what we like and how we can bring that in as part of the reimagined just to make it a state of the art, top of the line ballpark as it deserves to be.”

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