The Diamondbacks were at least considering relocating to Henderson, Nev., “as of late February,” Blake Apgar of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes. The franchise and the city of Henderson have engaged in serious discussions for a publicly owned, property tax-exempt ballpark with approximately 32,000 seats and 4,000 standing-room-only ticket holders. Those talks have “stalled,” according to Apgar, though Henderson spokeswoman Kathleen Richards stated this week there’s no “official word” from the team on whether the project will move forward.
The Diamondbacks have been seeking a new stadium in Arizona, where they’ve played since they first began major league action in 1998. The franchise hasn’t received that facility, though, and the stadium lease it agreed to with Maricopa County in Arizona in May 2018 will allow the club to leave its current home – Chase Field – as early as 2022. If the Diamondbacks were to exit Arizona of their own accord then, they’d have to pay between $5MM and $25MM. However, they could depart without penalty if Major League Baseball were to mandate a move.
The Diamondbacks have given real consideration to Henderson, where they’ve “expressed interest in creating a development at a potential new home” worth around $1 billion, Apgar writes. The city even signed a nondisclosure agreement with the team dated July 31, 2018, called “Project Marble.”
“I hope, above all else, (our submission) reflects the pride that we take in our community and our ardent belief that a partnership with Major League Baseball is not only viable but provides great opportunities for our city and your organization,” mayor Debra March wrote in a cover letter to Diamondbacks chief executive officer Derrick Hall.
According to Apgar, Hall emailed Henderson city manager Richard Derrick on Jan. 4, saying, “Have not forgotten you!” Hall added, “Hopefully there is still strong interest there as we go through the MLB motions.” Derrick replied that there’s “very strong interest,” but it doesn’t seem as if the two sides have continued to seriously discuss relocation since the winter. For its part, the team stated (via Apgar) it hasn’t “received permission from MLB” to pursue a new city “and our desire is, first and foremost, to stay in Arizona.”