SBD/December 17, 2013/Facilities

Anaheim's Lease Proposal Could Be A Boon For Angels Owner Arte Moreno

A new lease for Angel Stadium could pay Moreno after the team leaves
A proposed stadium lease for the Angels "contains benefits so generous that in addition to covering the cost of the team's renovation of the ballpark, it could bring team owner Arte Moreno tens of millions of dollars of new income," according to Martin Wisckol of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. The proposal, being used as a basis for lease negotiations between the Angels and city of Anaheim, shows that the money would "continue to flow to Moreno's investment group for 66 years, even if the team opted out decades earlier for a ballpark elsewhere." At the "heart of negotiations" is the $130-150M in stadium renovations the Angels "are obligated to perform over the next 20 years under the current lease." In the city's effort to "help the team defray those costs -- and to ensure the team stays in town for the immediate future -- city staff has proposed letting Moreno develop 128 city-owned acres surrounding the stadium." Moreno would "pay the city $1 per year for the land under the draft terms." The proposal, which "appears far from finalization, also would rebate to Moreno all city taxes generated by the new development." Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said, "I would not do the deal. ... We certainly value the Angels, but the economic value to the city doesn't merit giving away the land for free." Wisckol noted the council is "awaiting an appraisal of the land, but estimates have run as high" as $380M. Eager to "dispel the impression that it's making a land grab, the team emphasizes that the proposal originated with city staff." Angels spokesperson Marie Garvey said, "Including the land was the city's idea as their contribution to fund the much-needed stadium improvements." Wisckol noted driving the city's "decision to renegotiate the lease is a desire to ensure the team doesn't relocate" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 12/14).
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