The Anaheim City Council voted last night to renegotiate their lease with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The main point of negotiation was delaying the team's option to relocate from 2016 to 2019, in an effort to cement a long term lease through 2057. A city representative stated that Angels owner Arte Moreno has the resources to move the team to a different city.
Anaheim mayor Tom Tait was the only holdout in a 4-1 approval of the new lease. Mayor Tait has been very vocal in his opposition of a renegotiation, but was outvoted this time around.
“Extending the opt-out clause makes it easier for the Angels to move if we don't do everything they want,” said Tait, who voted against the current lease in 1996. “This may be the biggest asset the city has, and yet the public is barely finding out about this ...”
Charles Black, president of CB Urban Development in San Diego stated that Moreno had "the resources and willingness to build his own stadium."
Black informed the council that the Angels could potentially find a new home in Irvine, Irwindale or "at least half a dozen potential sites" in downtown Los Angeles.
Another portion of the lease that will energize fans is that Anaheim is giving up it's stake to the Halos name. In the past, the Angels were required to have "Anaheim" in their name, hence the "of Anaheim" in their title. In it's current state, Moreno can remove the suffix and simply call his club the Los Angeles Angels. Outside of Orange County the "of Anaheim" is never mentioned so it's doubtful that Moreno will care that he angers a small percentage of his fan base, even if they are the ones who attend most of the home games.
Anaheim will also receive less money from ticket sales. Currently, Anaheim receives $2 for each home ticket sold once attendance surpasses 2.6 million. Starting in 2021, that attendance threshold would jump to 3 million. Last year, 3,061,770 Angels tickets were sold, earning $989,572 for the city.
A city report states that Angel Stadium requires between $130 million and $150 million in improvements over the next 20 years.
Under the new lease the Angels will pay that expense instead of the city. With such a high cost though, Moreno may choose to level the current stadium and building a new park right next to it in the parking lot. Since there would be no new land to purchase, Black said Moreno could construct a new ballpark for $450 million to $500 million.
Be sure to sign our petition to change the Angels name back to the Anaheim Angels. They need to hear from us before they drop our great city completely from their name. We appreciate your support.