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Arizona city and its ballpark trade blows over park's closure

The Arizona city is Gilbert and the ballpark is Big League Dreams. These two parties are currently warring with one another about the closure of this popular piece of real estate. Gilbert says the little league ballpark is not safe and must remain closed for repairs. Big League Dreams representatives dispute the allegations of poor safety and want the city to reopen the park.

The park contains eight ball fields, each of them modeled after famous stadiums. According to news sources, Gilbert shut down the park unexpectedly, saying that the property needs more than $11 million in repairs. The safety concerns seem to be centered on the park's grandstands, which park co-owner, Jeff Odekirk, called "decoration." Odekirk added that the grandstands are not used for seating and no one is allowed to go underneath them.

In response to the closure, the staff and supporters of Big League Dreams is asking the city to consider closing only portions of the park at a time so that youth in the area can continue to enjoy the ballpark. Gilbert countered with statements indicating that a phased approach would be too costly and would still pose a danger to the park's users.

These two entities have been battling one another for some time in the real estate legal arena. Earlier this year, the two parties even filed lawsuits against one another. A judge has combined the two cases into a single lawsuit and told the parties to seek a legal solution through mediation or litigation will occur. It seems the two key issues surrounding this property are whether Gilbert can completely shutter the park and who should pay the cost of the park's repairs.

Source: The Arizona Republic, "Big League Dreams to Gilbert: There are no safety concerns at ballpark," Jessica Boehm, July 24, 2017

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