What the Diamondbacks Want in a New Stadium

The Diamondbacks' "expression of interest" proposal is the first public glimpse of the team's priorities if it leaves or renovates the 21-year-old ballpark in downtown Phoenix. Credit: Nick Orza, The Arizona Republic

By Rebekah L. Sanders for The Arizona Republic

The Arizona Diamondbacks want a stadium smaller than Chase Field to provide a more “intimate” experience for fans, surrounded by a major shopping and dining complex that could rival Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District in size, according to a team wish list obtained by The Arizona Republic.

The Diamondbacks’ “expression of interest” proposal is the first public glimpse of the team’s priorities if it leaves or renovates the 21-year-old ballpark in downtown Phoenix.

The team last year negotiated the option to leave the stadium early, as soon as the 2022 season, in exchange for ending a lawsuit against Maricopa County.

The team shared the 67-page wish list with officials in Henderson, Nevada, last year as the team scouted possible stadium locations.

Henderson officials responded with a detailed proposal to build a stadium and entertainment complex a short drive from the Las Vegas strip.

Those discussions petered out in February, according to emails.

Following New Stadium Trends

The team wish list points to modern stadiums such as the Atlanta BravesSunTrust Park, the Texas RangersGlobe Life Park and the Edmonton OilersRogers Place as inspiration.

Each of those projects incorporates a compact sports venue into a sprawling development for shopping, dining, hotels and offices.

The Diamondbacks’ wish list includes:

  • A stadium of 36,000-42,000 seats on at least 20 acres. (The current stadium has 48,519 seats.)
  • A retractable roof and ample parking.
  • At least 45-70 acres of shops, restaurants, offices and apartments or condos surrounding the stadium.
  • A 5,000-seat concert hall.
  • Access to public transportation.
  • Cost-sharing for long-term stadium repairs between the team and city.
  • Team control over naming rights.
  • Team control over booking and revenues generated by the stadium and concert hall.
  • Possible team control over development and operation of the retail complex, with revenues split with the city.

Is There Room in Downtown Phoenix?

If the Diamondbacks stayed at Chase Field, accomplishing the full wish list would require major changes.

As much as a quarter of the stadium’s nearly 49,000 seats would need to be removed.

And the team would need to find enough land in downtown Phoenix to build the shopping complex. The acreage called for in the wish list is more than Scottsdale’s Kierland Commons or Chandler Fashion Center.

Read more at The Arizona Republic.

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