After calling the city of Anaheim home since the mid-1960s, are the Los Angeles Angels now destined to return to their ancestral home, from which the name “Angels” was derived? It could be so, and if it is, the good people of occupied Orange County will have the elected officials of the City of Anaheim, in particular their republican mayor, Tom Tait, to thank. And, if it happens, it will be yet another instance of a died-in-the-wool republican saying “screw you” to the public, while lining the pockets of big business.
Remodeled several times over the years, originally to cow-tow to the NFL, and then again to undo the damage of that first major renovation, the stadium now called Angels Stadium is again in need of some renovations, and discussions regarding them were part and parcel of preliminary discussions for a new lease with the Angels and owner Arte Moreno. Just
|over a year ago the Angels and the city entered into a "deal framework" whereunder the Angels would spend $150 Millions to refurbish the stadium, and in exchange they would receive a lease on the parking lots at the rate of $1 per year, which would allow Moreno to develop some of that land adjacent to the stadium for commercial use and an additional revenue stream.||
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This sounds like a tremendous deal for Anaheim, especially when compared to deals that the Los Angeles City Council has given to numerous downtown developers, including AEG, for building hotels and that illusory football stadium, where the developers have been give tax waivers that will save them hundreds of millions of dollars. But, to Anaheim Mayor Tait, it was not the right type of deal for Anaheim, or for him.
So, what did the mayor do? He went behind the back of Moreno and the Angels, and as negotiations stalled for months, he directed that an appraisal be done to determine the value of the land on which the stadium stands WITHOUT A STADIUM standing on it, that is, what the land would be worth if they kicked the team out and demolished the stadium. This has now resulted in Moreno telling the city that they can stuff their “deal framework”, and in active negotiations with other local governments for the building of a new stadium, which would be built by the Angels, and not a governmental entity.
While negotiations have begun with the city of Tustin, still in Orange County and which has considerable freeway-adjacent land available for such a project, you cannot rule out
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|the lure of downtown Los Angeles and there area that will never see the building of the soon-to-be defunct "Farmers' Field" that Philip Anschutz and his AEG wanted in the new heart of the city. With that pie-in-the sky deal about dead, the area would seem to be a perfect spot for Moreno to bring his "Los Angeles" Angels.
As to Anaheim, it looks like Tait's plan is to put the city into a position where they can turn the land where now the stadium sits over to a few big business cronies, rather than negotiate in good faith with that outsider Arte Moreno whose heart is likely in Los Angeles
AEG’s option on the downtown LA land expires next month, when “Farmers’ Field” could pass into oblivion, to be replaced by the “New” Angels Stadium.