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CAN SPORTSTOWN ANAHEIM SURVIVE WITHOUT ANGELS, NFL TEAM?
Published March 26, 1996
Disney's recent decision not to buy the Angels coupled with the unresolved nature of the Seahawks relocation has caused debate to "intensify" over whether Anaheim's proposed Sportstown complex is an "unrealistic dream" or the key to the city's goal of becoming a "professional sports mecca," according to the L.A. TIMES. Hernandez & Miller report Disney walked away the Angels partly because the project has no known private investors, and Owners Gene and Jackie Autry have threatened to move the club when its Anaheim Stadium lease expires in five years. Disney Sports Enterprises President Tony Tavares: "There are so many unknowns about Sportstown and football, we didn't feel comfortable locking into a lease not knowing what this would look like at the end of the day." Meanwhile, many local officials believe whether or not Disney emerges as a buyer, the city still needs the Angels' cooperation to make Sportstown a reality. Still, Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly says the city is "sticking to its bold dream." Despite his difficulties, Seahawks Owner Ken Behring would still invest in the project. And Daly has asked agent Leigh Steinberg to head a committee to advise the city on Sportstown (L.A. TIMES, 3/24).