SBD/Issue 73/Franchises

Orange Crush: Anaheim Plans Legal Action Against Angels

Anaheim Seeking Restraining Order
To Stop Angels’ Name Change

With the Angels changing their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the city of Anaheim is seeking a “temporary restraining order that would force the team to remain the Anaheim Angels,” according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. Meanwhile, if a court rules in favor of Anaheim in its lawsuit contending the name change violates the team’s Angel Stadium lease, the city “could terminate the lease, evict the Angels and collect $15[M], plus damages.” But Anaheim Public Information Manager John Nicoletti said that the city wants “to enforce the lease, not terminate it.” Shaikin cites sources as saying that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig approved the name change but had asked Angels Owner Arte Moreno to “work with the city rather than fight it.”

COURT OF OPINION: Angels VP/Communications Tim Mead said that of the 3,500 new season-ticket deposits the team has received, “fewer than 100 accounts had been canceled since Monday’s announcement of the name change,” and the team “has lost only one current season-ticket holder because of the change.” The team has received 540 e-mails and 200-300 phone calls about the name change, “the majority in opposition” (L.A. TIMES, 1/5). Angels DH Tim Salmon, on hopes the name change will “broaden the Angels’ appeal and help the team attract national revenue”: “From Arte’s standpoint, if he feels he can get a better TV contract and put a better product on the field ... as a fan, that’s what you’d want, isn’t it?” (Mike DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES, 1/5). But ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell said, “It’s very strange to believe (that the name change) would really boost marketability and sponsorship deals. ... It’s more of a branding thing, but I really don’t think that their TV rights will increase, that sponsors will say they’re worth more. If anything were to increase it, it would be putting Los Angeles on the jerseys or on the hats, and they say they’re not doing that” (ESPNews, 1/4).

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