Dbacks and Maricopa County one step closer to settling dispute over repairs at Chase Field

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

It's a battle that's been brewing for quite a while -- the Arizona Diamondbacks and Maricopa County at odds over who should pay for repairs to Chase Field.

DBacks CEO Derrick Hall has spoken out several times, raising concerns that the county is not willing to pay for $187 million in maintenance the ballpark will need over the next 12 years.

On Thursday, a Maricopa County judge took a big step in helping resolve the dispute.

The case will be sent to arbitration where an independent panel will decide who should pay for what.

Robert Sewell is an arbitration expert who said that whatever decision the arbitrators make, both parties will have to accept it. 

[Read the ruling here: bit.ly/2wTBBSB]

 "Finality, speed and privacy - those are the best reasons for doing arbitration," said Sewell.

The DBacks have been trying to get out of their lease that runs through 2025, claiming the county has failed in its obligation to maintain the 20-year-old ballpark.

Attorney Grady Gammage, Jr., who represents Maricopa County, said that's not true.

Gammage said that the county has been making all necessary repairs,  but what they wont pay for is enhancements the team wants, like building a new JumboTron.

"They think the stadium is OK now, but that there isn't enough money in the capitol accounts to take care of the long term needs," said Gammage. "We disagree with that."

DBacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick released this statement:

“This is a significant step in the process and one that favors our attempt to expedite a resolution to a difficult situation for our fans and our organization. We need to secure a long-term stadium solution and cannot afford to let Chase Field fall further into disrepair with no alternative stadium solution available.”

Gammage said the arbitration process could take six to nine months to complete.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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