Exec says Angels could leave Anaheim in 2029, maybe hopes new metropolis has arisen by then

Los Angeles Angels president John Carpino spoke out about the  over development rights to the team’s Anaheim stadium parking lot yesterday, and said if things can’t be worked out the team might just leave — 13 years from now.

Carpino spoke after the developer of a large-scale project next to Angel Stadium agreed Tuesday to postpone an Anaheim City Council vote on the project for three weeks, in the hope of resolving the team’s objections to the development…

Although the Angels’ current lease extends through 2029, the team can opt out no later than Oct. 16, 2018, which would terminate the lease after the 2019 season.

Carpino said the Angels have three options: move, renovate Angel Stadium, or play out the current lease.

So… that doesn’t actually quite make sense as written. What the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin appears to be trying to say is that the Angels may not use the opt-out clause in their lease in two seasons, in which case their next opportunity to leave Anaheim would be in 2029. It’s not entirely clear whether that’s meant to be a promise or a threat, but there it is.

Of course, the reason that Angels owner Arte Moreno might not use the opt-out clause is because he has nowhere to go that’s still in the super-lucrative Los Angeles (plus Orange County) market, especially since his attempts to get a stadium out of Tustin went nowhere. That’s not likely to change by 2029 — yeah, Las Vegas is growing, but not that fast — so this would seem to be a coded admission of “Yeah, we’re stuck here whether we like it or not, thanks to the SoCal cable riches.” I mean, maybe by 2029 cable has ceased to exist and some new MLB model makes it feasible for teams to play in places like Green Bay, like the NFL’s does? Maybe by then Halifax has become bustling with American climate refugees? Or maybe Moreno has really decided he’ll settle for selling another 13 years worth of Mike Trout jerseys and figure out the whole stadium thing later. If so, well played, Tom Tait.

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17 comments on “Exec says Angels could leave Anaheim in 2029, maybe hopes new metropolis has arisen by then

  1. I know traffic out there is bad but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a team objecting to restaurants, shops, etc. being near their stadium. Were the Angels hoping to get that land for themselves for a new stadium or an expansion of some kind?

    1. Yeah, click through a bit — this is all about Moreno trying to get hold of the surrounding land for his own development, preferably without paying for it.

    1. Hmm? Anaheim isn’t Inland Empire (nor is Tustin). And in both cases, elected officials have been saying no to Moreno’s subsidy requests.

      1. This seems plausible to me. The Valley of the dirt people, I mean the Inland Empire, has long desired to get out of the shadow of LA and OC and it wouldn’t surprise me if the opportunity to stick it to one of those places by “stealing” the Angels excited a lot of voters/taxpayers/pols. There’s multiple municipalities to play off each other (Ontario, Riverside, San Bernardino) that wouldn’t isolate the team from fans in the “losing” city. Moreno could definitely keep Los Angeles in the team name since it’s also considered part of the L.A. market and if measured as its own media market, the Inland Empire ranks somewhere around 13th with about 4 million people

        1. Unless San Berdu wants to follow the Detroit model, that city is already in bankruptcy and can barely afford to pick up the garbage.

          Riverside is doing quite well without pro-sports. Of the 3 you mentioned, Ontario is best geographically, but again, doesn’t need pro-sports. With SoCal traffic, a huge majority of season ticket holders would depart. Even in decent traffic, it’s still an hour from LA or Anaheim.

          The window for DTLA has closed. Sky-rocketing real estate and Kronke’s do-it-on-his-own success in Inglewood means no breaks for Moreno.

          1. I’ve never known “not needing sports” to actually matter much or this site wouldn’t exist. As far as bankruptcy, Detroit did it, so I don’t see how that’s a factor either if pols want to get it done. Also we’re potentially discussing stadium financing that would need to be in place ten years from now unless 2018 is realistic and I’m just saying it’s plausible, I don’t see how any of those factors make it implausible

  2. Brighter days are ahead for Arte Moreno. Just one more year on the Josh Hamilton contract, 5 more years on the Albert Pujols contract, and if he can get rid of Mike Trout after the 2017 season, he can avoid paying him $34 million per year for 2018-2020.

      1. I am being somewhat facetious, but if money is the most important thing to Arte, then it is something to consider.

        1. Yeah, Arte’s isn’t cheap, he just spends too much on late model ballplayers, and pitchers with too many miles on them. He’ll pay Trout, probably pay him into his late 50s.

  3. Neal, do you have any estimates on total stadium subsidies, NFL vs. MLB, over the last 20-30 years? My gut tells me that NFL is much higher, largely because of “predicaments” like this: Moreno can’t credibly threaten to move the Angels to Vegas because of local TV revenue, whereas in the NFL, all TV revenue is shared equally, so teams can move from larger markets to smaller ones (and have several times), which gives all 32 owners much more leverage to extort the locals.

  4. You would think that. Unfortunately, mayors seldom bother checking to see if the move-threat gun is loaded.

  5. 1) The area to be developed its an abondoned industrial site which has been an eyesore for many years. LT already purchased the land, if not allowed to develop, it will continue to be an eyesore for another couple of decade.

    2) It will be a high end plaza which LT estimates will generate $5 million annually in property, sales and hotel taxes, and $3 million would go to schools. It will also raise the surrounding property value and provide great amenities to residents. However yes it will increase traffic in the area.

    3) Lets get real here, Angels could not care less about the environment nor Anaheim(as you recall they recently had a failed attempt to move to Tustin). Despite what their lawyer says their aim has always been to kill the project if you followed the development. Angels owner Moreno(who is worth 2.1 Billion) wants to develop the area himself to profit from it. He wants to keep the area blighted so he can get it free from the taxpayers of Anaheim. He has been wanting to “lease the stadium’s parking lot for $1 annually over 66 years for development of his own commercial project.” I wish I could get a big plot of land from the taxpayers to profit from in the middle of expensive OC for $1 a year. What a joke.

    Angels best choice now is to try and work together with LT(which they have refused in the past) and develop the area together. That way Angels, LT, and Anaheim taxpayers all benefits. I have a feeling Team Angels will be too selfish and inept to do so however. Remember “The land on which the Angels would build has remained undeveloped in the 50 years since the stadium opened.”

  6. I am being somewhat facetious, but if money is the most important thing to Arte, then it is something to consider.

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