Chase Field is one of the oldest MLB parks. It opened in 1998. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Controversy over the Chase Field lease (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -
When asked about the ever-growing possibility of a legal showdown between Maricopa County and the Arizona Diamondbacks over Chase Field, it was not a big surprise that Supervisor Steve Gallardo said he'd like to avoid it.
"You have lawyers right now that are going to war with each other; we don't need lawyers in this," he said Monday. "We need cooler heads."
Sounds great! But will cooler heads prevail?
Gallardo's comments come the same day that the hard-hitting legal firm of Beus Gilbert PLLC confirmed the team hired it to handle the legal ins and outs in this ongoing feud.
The call for cooler heads also comes a day after Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall appeared to add some gasoline to this simmering fire.
First, Hall said he's like to see Phoenix City Hall take over the leasing agreement for Chase Field rather than let the county run the facility, according to a report in The Arizona Republic.
According to the paper, "a swap would give the Diamondbacks, currently at odds with the county over stadium enhancements, an opportunity to have the ballpark renovated or to get a new facility by taking advantage of the city's municipal bonding authority."
Then Hall reportedly told a group of season-ticket holders that the team nearly inked a similar deal about four years ago.
The reason it didn't happen?
"(Hall) said county officials were worried about losing their tickets, suite and free parking," The Republic reported.
As the landlords of Chase Field, the county gets several plumb parking spaces near the stadium, as well as a free suite.
But the county didn't appreciate comments that it is worried about losing those perks.
"Nothing could be further from the truth," Maricopa County spokesman Field Moseley said. "We do have a suite, a county suite; it is given to charitable organizations."
A list of charities that use the suite was not immediately provided, but both Gallardo and former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said the suite is donated so nonprofit organizations can take children to games.
So far neither side has fired an official legal shot. But should it come to that, Moseley said the county is ready for a fight.
"If a legal fight comes our way, of course the county is going to defend that original agreement," he said.
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