PHOENIX - The City of Henderson, Nevada put together a significant proposal, including the creation of a brand-new stadium, in an effort to lure the Arizona Diamondbacks away from Phoenix, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday.
The Review-Journal's Blake Apgar reported the City of Henderson, located about 15 miles southeast of Las Vegas, made a significant pitch to attempt to get the D-backs to move out of Arizona, but talks with the team failed to gain much traction.
"A number of cities have expressed interest but we have not pursued any because we have not received permission from MLB and our desire is, first and foremost, to stay in Arizona," the Diamondbacks said in a statement.
“While a proposal for an Arizona Diamondbacks ballpark has not moved forward, the city of Henderson would welcome conversations with other major league franchises that may be considering a move to a different market,” the city said in a statement, per the Review-Journal.
Henderson's efforts to bring the D-backs to Nevada came at about the same time the D-backs reached an agreement with Maricopa County that will allow them to look for a home elsewhere.
In January 2017, the Diamondbacks filed a lawsuit against the Maricopa County Stadium District after the team and the county failed to reach an agreement regarding payment for requested repairs and upkeep to Chase Field, where the team has played since its inception. Two months later, the Diamondbacks asked permission to explore other venues, but the Stadium District denied that request. But last year, the county and the team agreed that the team will be allowed to pursue other stadium options, provided the Diamondbacks drop all litigation against the county and commit to play at least five more years at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks' current lease at Chase Field is active until 2027, but per their revised agreement with the county, they will be allowed to leave the stadium without penalty as soon as 2022, provided the new stadium is located in Maricopa County. If the Diamondbacks decide to leave Maricopa County after 2022 but before 2027, they will be required to pay the Stadium District a minimum of $5 million and a maximum of $25 million, depending upon which year the team relocates.
The city of Henderson created artist renderings of what a retractable-roof baseball stadium in west Henderson would look like, per the Review-Journal, and the city proposed a total of four locations for the ballpark. D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall reportedly exchanged emails with Henderson City Manager Richard Derrick to discuss the proposal, and they also met in person in October.
The D-backs may have interest in leaving Chase Field but remaining in Maricopa County. In May, artist renderings of what seems to be an idea for a new Diamondbacks stadium were leaked. The following month, VenuesNow reported the D-backs hired architecture firm HKS to draw up plans for a possible new venue. Per VenuesNow, construction of a new MLB ballpark that would include a retractable roof would likely take between 29 to 33 months.