Arizona Diamondbacks want hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds to upgrade Chase Field

The Arizona Diamondbacks have called Chase Field their home since it opened in 1998. With the ballpark now falling behind its peers in terms of amenities, technology and fan support, Diamondbacks’ officials are hoping the public provides financial support to upgrade the ballpark.

Chase Field opened in March 1998 with construction costs estimated at $600-plus million when adjusted for inflation. While the enclosed ballpark was once considered one of the best stadiums in Major League Baseball, it has fallen behind in the past 20 years.

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While there has been some talk about the ballpark being replaced, major renovations are viewed as a far likelier resolution. Chase Field has undergone minor enhancements since its opening, but it’s one of just a few stadiums in MLB that hasn’t received major upgrades.

All of that is changing with the Diamondbacks becoming a relevant team in the National League’s playoff picture. In 2023, Arizona recorded its first season with a winning record since 2019. It’s also on the brink of making the postseason for the first time since 2017, when it was swept in the National League Division Series.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks attendance 2023: 23,814 per game (20th in MLB)

With local interest in the team improving and attendance starting to climb, Diamondbacks’ officials are now calling on the general public and elected city leaders to help provide much-needed upgrades to their ballpark.

Speaking to the Arizona Republic, Diamondbacks’ president and CEO Derrick Hall made his pitch for staying at Chase Field long-term with major renovations. In order for that to happen and to keep the team in downtown Phoenix, the club wants a private-public funding split. However, he hasn’t found the support needed yet.

“We don’t have our hand out, but if you look at some of the other situations very similar to ours — like Milwaukee, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore — in each case, they are getting strong investments from the public, from a mixture of city/county/state, and we just aren’t. Would I welcome that? Absolutely. I’m just still trying to weigh if there’s any help we can get from anybody.”

Arizona Diamondbacks team president Derrick Hall on getting public funding for Chase Field renovations

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As highlighted by Front Office Sports, the Diamondbacks’ stadium lease expires in 2027. The team has no plans to leave Arizona, with its focus either being on a new stadium or providing major renovations for the current one. The Diamondbacks do have the ability to implement a tax increase on anything sold at Chase Field from 1% to 9%, but that is something the organization wants to avoid for now.

Current estimates for major renovations to Chase Field are in the ballpark of $400-$500 million. While the club would prefer something closer to a 50-50 split of the funding, Hall shared that the franchise is willing to cover more than 75% of the costs as part of a mixed-use development deal.

“It’s a 26-year-old building in the middle of the desert. I’m willing to invest in it, but I’ve got to know that I’m going to be here, and that’s why it’s so critical that we start that timeline as soon as we can.”

Derrick Hall on keeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix

While the Diamondbacks don’t have the public support they need right now, some success in the postseason and a further push towards a 75-25 split between private and public funding could help eventually deliver renovations to Chase Field.

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