Anaheim Extends Angels' Opt-Out Clause As Lease Negotiations Continue
The Anaheim City Council yesterday adopted a deal that will delay the Angels' option to leave the city from '16 until '19, giving team Owner Arte Moreno "more time to negotiate a series of deals" aimed at keeping them in town through '57, according to Art Marroquin of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. City officials "will now work with the Angels on several changes, including whether the team should have exclusive control over its name, meaning it could drop 'Anaheim' from its official title." The Angels' current lease at the city-owned Angel Stadium of Anaheim expires in '29, and the team "hasn't openly threatened to leave." But former Padres President & COO Charles Black, who is working as a consultant for the city, said that Moreno "has said that he is willing to build a stadium elsewhere," possibly in downtown L.A., Irvine or the City of Industry. Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait yesterday represented the only vote against the deal, saying that the Angels "will now have the upper hand during the next round of lease negotiations." Along with the team's naming rights, city officials and the Angels will negotiate "whether the team should lease the city-owned parking lot for $1 annually for 66 years." The team in turn "would have the right to develop the property and ask the city for subsidies to help fund construction." Development profits "would be used to pay" for an estimated $150M worth of stadium upgrades over the next 20 years. Also under negotiation is "whether to reduce Anaheim’s share of home ticket sales." The city currently "receives $2 for each home ticket sold once attendance surpasses 2.6 million," but that "may change in 2021, when the proposed attendance threshold would jump to 3 million" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/4).
MORE THAN A FRESH COAT OF PAINT: In L.A., Bill Shaikin cites an Anaheim city report as indicating that the Angels' ballpark needs $130-150M in "capital improvements over the next 20 years." That estimate "accounts solely for infrastructure -- electrical maintenance and upgrades, concrete repairs, waterproofing and such -- at the stadium." The Angels would "pay all of that cost and would pay above and beyond for any improvements that would generate additional revenue for the team, for example, more luxury seating" (L.A. TIMES, 9/4).