Angels really truly not moving to Tustin, slink back to Anaheim to reopen lease talks

Hey, remember almost two years ago when the Los Angeles Angels were threatening to build a new stadium in the Orange County city of Tustin? Vaguely? I’d largely forgotten about the whole thing once Tustin officials said they wanted to receive fair market value for any stadium land, but apparently Angels owner Arte Moreno hadn’t given up on the plan. Until now:

The developer of the proposed Tustin site said his firm worked extensively in recent months on a ballpark project, but could not structure a deal that made economic sense for the development company, for Tustin and for the Angels…

The two sides are believed to have focused on a stadium that would have seated about 37,000 and cost about $700 million. Tustin officials had said they would not provide taxpayer funding for stadium construction.

“At this point, there’s not a path forward that’s economically viable for anyone,” Oliver said.

Instead, Moreno has now reopened talks with the city of Anaheim about a deal to renovate the team’s current stadium, which could get very interesting indeed. Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait is one of the more skeptical local officials on the subject of stadium subsidies, and has been insistent that he won’t give away valuable development rights to Moreno for nothing; a majority of the city council, though, still consists (until the November elections, at least) of members who approved the free-land deal that Tait later scuttled. Tait says he hopes to come to an agreement that’s a “win-win” for both the team and the people of Anaheim; if most mayors said that I’d expect it was just empty rhetoric, but Tait seems to actually mean it, so … yeah, very interesting times indeed.

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10 comments on “Angels really truly not moving to Tustin, slink back to Anaheim to reopen lease talks

  1. Circa Arizona Diamondbacks:
    1. Public pays for major renovations.
    2. Wait 5-10 years and then push for a new stadium that suddenly costs a quarter billion more then it did in today’s dollars.
    3. Kick yourself for renovating “old” stadium because it had nothing to do with the end game of the scheme.

    1. Presumably Tait is smart enough not to okay a renovation deal without getting a lease extension in exchange. If he needs language to make it ironclad and prevent new-stadium demands ten years down the road, I bet St. Petersburg has some boilerplate he can use.

  2. 37,000 capacity in LAA is too small. They’ve averaged better than that every year since they won the World Series. You’d need a higher average ticket price to make up for the 8000 lost seats. So you’re asking taxpayers to contribute to a new stadium that will make games more expensive.”Vote Yes for Higher Ticket Prices!” Better avoid a referendum.

    1. My guess would be higher ticket prices/scarcity of supply is the main reason they want to reduce capacity… not an unavoidable consequence but a planned one.

  3. This is a great tragedy.
    I was hoping to find out whether they were going to be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim brought to you by the City of Tustin, the Anaheim Angels of Tustin or just the California Angels instead.

  4. The current location of Angels Stadium is in the best strategic spot in Orange County. Artie Moreno knows this. That’s why he won’t move the team away from that spot.

    1. I had read that one of the major reasons Arte wanted to leave Anaheim was his insistence that he be allowed to remove “Anaheim” from the team’s name. I’m not sure he has the leverage to demand that anymore.

    2. It is a really great spot for OC visitors and residents (many, anyway). Hard to imagine a better location is available elsewhere in the region.

      As for the “Anaheim” issue, as I recall that was part of the agreement made over the last stadium renovation (which turned the former shared home of the Rams into the Angels own).

      Thus, the only reason he has to keep Anaheim in the name is that he agreed contractually to do so as part of the renovation funding agreement. Whether that agreement has a natural expiry date or is in effect for as long as the club remains in it’s present location I do not know.

  5. Keep an eye on the August 30 meeting coming up. SOMETHING big will be on the table, and I figure it is probably the Stadium, which is why the info has been leaked to the press, perhaps gauging whether we are still upset at the LAST deal they botched! (Honey, am I still sleeping on the couch again tonight? YES! ) We know it must be something critical, because until a week ago there WAS NO August 30 meeting. Suddenly Council member Kris Murray can’t make it to the August 23rd meeting, and rather than let the show go on without her, Anaheim’s entire municipal structure must come to a halt and accommodate her with a date change for the meeting. What could be that important?

    Let’s see, the Council did NOT change dates or accommodate Council member James Vanderbilt being on DUTY for military reserve service, and he had to call in from a bad phone line on base. Council did NOT remove for the NEXT meeting the 3 hotel subsidies worth half a billion dollars earlier in July, so the Mayor could participate in that critical vote, since he was called to the White House that night to discuss with Obama’s top brass how to keep our cops from being shot (some of us thought that was a pretty good reason to miss a Council meeting) so we have to ask, WHAT IS SO IMPORTANT that we change the Council meeting for Murray’s non-excuse when other far more pressing reasons for others were not offered the courtesy? Frankly, I think mathematically it HAS to be the Angels, because there is nothing left in Anaheim’s treasury after the Kleptocratic majority has raided the kitty for 6 years straight. Angels Stadium and the Honda Center are the only things of value remaining in our investment portfolio, and with the demise of the majority voting block predicted in November, those miscreants are NOT going to leave that kind of booty behind if they have room in their burlap sacks to grab it on the way out the door.

    This deal has been taking place BEHIND CLOSED DOORS with staff talking to the team. WITHOUT even TELLING the City Council there are new talks taking place! They bypassed Wylie Aitken, the lawyer hired to handle the negotiations, and went to the team with City staff. These people are flat out working for Arte Moreno but the taxpayers of Anaheim get stuck with their paychecks and pensions. Play ball!

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