Not sure how I missed this at the time — especially since I’m quoted in it — but in the midst of a long, excellent article in the Orange County Register last week about how the study commissioned by the city of Anaheim commission on the economic impact of the Los Angeles Angels is full of crap (sorry for the technical economics terminology), there was hidden this tidbit about how the Angels are looking to pay for planned renovations to Anaheim Stadium:
[The proposal] would grant the team a 66-year, $1-per-year lease on 150 undeveloped acres around the stadium, which the team could develop according to the existing high-density residential, commercial and retail zoning. All tax revenue generated by the development for the city would be rebated to the team, according to the team’s proposal.
In return, the city would no longer have to make its $600,000 annual maintenance payment for the city-owned stadium. The Angels would pick up that tab, as well as the bill for an estimated $130 million to $150 million in needed renovations.
How much is free development rights to 150 acres for 66 years worth? The OC Register cites figures of anywhere from $30 million to $380 million, either of which would be far more than the value of getting out from under that annual $600,000 maintenance payment. (Picking up the bill for renovations to their own stadium isn’t actually so much an Angels gift to the public as a gift to themselves.) Plus, under the new deal the $2 ticket tax that the Angels pay on every ticket sold after the first 2.6 million would only kick in after the 3 millionth ticket — costing the city an additional $800,000 a year.
Depending on how you value the land, then, the Angels are either looking at getting a development deal that will pay for around 20% of their renovation costs, or one that will pay for their entire nut and leave them with a ton of profit left over. Since it seems kind of important to the story, it’d be nice for some local journalist to actually attempt to figure out what that land is worth — maybe one of these days.