Report: Phillies in legal battle over beloved Phillie Phanatic

The Phillie Phanatic performs before a game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on April 16, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Phillies are suing over ownership rights of the beloved Phillie Phanatic.

According to TMZ Sports, the lawsuit argues that Executive Vice President Bill Giles worked with Harrison/Erickson Incorporated to create the mascot in 1978 and the team paid the firm for their work. In the lawsuit obtained by TMZ Sports, they report the Phils had to renegotiate with Harrison/Erickson in 1984 to keep the mascot "forever" paying the company $215,000. 

TMZ Sports reports the firm is now going back on the agreement arguing the deal wasn't really a forever contract. They also report that in a letter Harrison/Erickson Incorporated said they would not allow the team to use the Phanatic after June 15, 2020 if they don't renegotiate and are even threatening to make the mascot a free agent.