Renovation Clause In Angels' Lease Deal Seen As Impetus Behind Talks With Anaheim
The Angels are "already on the hook" for $130-150M in renovations to Angel Stadium, but the team's claim that this would be a new benefit to the city of Anaheim if the team's proposed lease is approved is "emerging as a central motivation" for the Angels to renegotiate the lease on the 47-year-old ballpark, according to Martin Wisckol of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. The $130M-150M in the team's lease is designated for "basic items including plumbing, escalators and seats." A new lease proposed by the team, which is "being used as the baseline for negotiations, would allow the team to lease 150 city-owned acres surrounding the stadium for $1 a year, with full development rights, for 66 years." Revenue generated from that development would "give the Angels a new source of funds to pay for maintenance and repairs." Current lease payments to the city "would be lowered." The team "now pays the city $2 for every ticket sold over 2.6 million," and the proposal states that this threshold "would be changed to 3 million." The team also would "be allowed to drop 'Anaheim' from its name." The Angels in return would "take over the city’s annual contribution of about $600,000 to the stadium’s capital reserve fund, which is one source for funding repairs." If the Angels did opt out of the current lease, which runs through '29, the city "might find itself wanting to make some of those repairs itself -- provided they found a use for the stadium rather than razing the structure" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/9).
NEED TO PLAY HARDBALL: In California, Jonathan Lansner wrote the city's ballpark lease negotiations with Angels Owner Arte Moreno are "framed in the wrong way." The bargaining "should not be centered on what terms are required for the city to keep the team; rather, the discussion should be about what's the best use of that land for the city's needs." Orange County, even without the Angels, "has enough prime attractions" that the "vast majority of those hard-earned, smartly spent entertainment dollars lavished on this baseball team would easily be contributing to the broad economy at other local venues." Lansner asked, "Could the stadium land -- ballpark and parking -- be sold off or leased out by the city to real estate developers?" Lansner: "If nothing else, the city should make Moreno aware that he's seriously competing with other real estate developers for the land, including the stadium itself" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/9).