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Diamondbacks play down talk of new ballpark

Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Arizona Diamondbacks has moved to dampen speculation regarding a new ballpark after images emerged of a potential replacement for Chase Field.

The renderings came from architectural firm MEIS and were captured by AZ Snake Pit, a website affiliated with SB Nation that covers the Diamondbacks. The images were swiftly removed from the MEIS website, but the Diamondbacks were the listed client for the project, which had a date of 2019.

The proposal did not list a location for the stadium, but it did specify a capacity of around 38,000 seats, with 40 luxury suites, 4,000 club/premium seats and a retractable roof. Chase Field, which opened in March 1998, has a current capacity of around 48,686.

In a statement reported by the Arizona Republic newspaper, the Diamondbacks said: “As we continue to do our due diligence, we interviewed a number of architecture firms to understand possibilities both for renovation of Chase Field and a potential new stadium, if and when the time is needed.

“We have never seen this design and we continue to consider all options to ensure the best long-term home for the D-backs and our fans.”

The emergence of the renderings comes a year after Maricopa County signed off on a deal with the Diamondbacks that allows the team to leave Chase Field as soon as 2022, ending legal action between the two parties.

The Diamondbacks have called the Phoenix stadium home since the ballpark opened in 1998 to house the MLB expansion franchise. However, the team has been dissatisfied at the county’s efforts to ensure Chase Field remains in line with modern stadia standards and in 2017 launched a lawsuit seeking to break its 30-year lease in an effort to search for a new home.

Images: MEIS