The Diamondbacks have been engaged in an ongoing stadium kerfuffle for a considerable chunk of this decade, as the club looks to pull the shutters on the 21-year-old auspices of Chase Field and develop a new stadium project–in Arizona, or, possibly, elsewhere.
Last month, word spread that the club had been in discussions with the city of Henderson, NV as recently as this past February about the possibility of constructing a publicly owned, property tax-exempt ballpark with approximately 32,000 seats in the Las Vegas-adjacent city. Those talks were believed to have “stalled”, but Thursday brought word–although inconclusive word–of Arizona’s apparent discussions with at least one other municipal body.
According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Shea Johnson, the Diamondbacks and the city of Las Vegas proper signed a nondisclosure agreement on Aug. 14, 2018. Johnson relays that the nondisclosure agreement indicated both parties were evaluating or pursuing “certain mutually beneficial opportunities”.
To be clear: this is no sure sign that the Diamondbacks are planning a Las Vegas move. In fact, a team spokesperson told the Review-Journal that no stadium agreement is imminent: “We’re focused on Arizona and a local solution and have not made any determination on the future stadium site for the Diamondbacks,” the team spokesperson said.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman was also not inclined to give life to speculation, telling Johnson that she believes that the Diamondbacks prefer to stay in Arizona. “Conversations are great, but I am a bottom-line person,” Mayor Goodman said. “Everybody can hype it, ‘This may happen,’ but I don’t talk ‘may.’”
In a recap of previously reported developments, the stadium lease the Diamondbacks 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 at that point, they’d have to pay the state between $5MM and $25MM in fees. However, they could depart without penalty if Major League Baseball were to mandate a move.