Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno declared on Friday that talks to have the city of Anaheim give him land valued at somewhere between $30 million and $380 million in exchange for not exercising an opt-out clause were “at a stalemate” and that “we haven’t crossed that line yet” of shopping for a new home. Then the next day, a team spokesperson revealed that Moreno had earlier in the week met with officials from the city of Tustin about building a new stadium there:
“We did have an initial meeting with Tustin,” said Marie Garvey, a consultant retained by the Angels to handle stadium negotiation issues. “We’re still in discussions with the City of Anaheim, but we have to take a long-term view and explore all of our options to insure we have certainty for the future.”
So, for those of us not familiar with SoCal geography, what the heck is a Tustin? It’s another Orange County suburb about five miles down Interstate 5 from the Angels’ current home, and Cuba Gooding Jr. grew up there, and, um, that’s about it. Tustin also has a decommissioned Marine Corps Air Station that’s being targeted for redevelopment, and which is so massive (1,600 acres) that it shouldn’t have trouble finding room for a new stadium.
Where Moreno would come up with the money to actually build a stadium in Tustin is another story — would he want free development land there, too? — but that’s not the point of these kinds of meetings, which Garvey described as being “in the infancy stage.” It’s about creating leverage. Now to see if Moreno can get a bunch of Angels fans to show up at the next Anaheim city council meeting with “Don’t make us drive five more minutes to the game!” placards.