Angels owner waiting till last minute to bring stadium proposal to council for vote, this can only go well

After opting out of his lease last December and then un-opting-out and then spending all year on such matters as pretending he could move to Long Beach and waiting on a city appraisal of stadium land that was completed but never released, Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno is finally ready to make a proposal to the city of Anaheim for stadium renovations! And with a whole six weeks to go before the next opt-out deadline, much of which will be taken up by negotiations!

Anaheim City Manager Chris Zapata told the council about the Nov. 15 sit down during Tuesday’s, Nov. 5, council meeting.

But officials declined to say whether the Angels might come with a concrete, formal proposal or a collection of potential deal points…

[City spokesperson Mike] Lyster said negotiators for the city, including Mayor Harry Sidhu, and the team would likely meet a few times behind closed doors before a possible deal is brought to the full council.

So that means council debate likely won’t begin until December, with a vote having to be taken by the end of that month. No wonder the council didn’t want to promise 30 days of public debate on an Angels stadium plan!

Now, under sane circumstances, that deadline would be hanging over Moreno’s head just as much as the city’s, if not more so: If no new deal is in place by December 31, the Angels owner faces a choice between 1) opting out of his lease again and leaving himself nowhere to play in 2021 (or at least without such perks as super-low rent on his current stadium) and 2) not opting out and being stuck with no leverage to demand a new stadium until 2029. In the world we live in, though, where the council already responded to Moreno’s last opt-out with Oh, please, sir, here is a fresh gun to hold to our heads next year, it’s likely that the council will treat Moreno’s deadline as a council deadline, and rush to approve the deal regardless of whether the city would be getting fair market value for its parking lot development rights.

That’s if we even know by then what fair market value is, as the city still won’t make its appraisal of the site public. It’s promised to do so “at the right time,” which hopefully means before the actual vote; also hopefully it means that the full appraisal and methodology will be revealed then, not just a napkin with “whatev team wants to pay, ‘s cool” scrawled on it.

And speaking of the appraisal of land for the New York Islanders arena that was approved back in August, I just got notice today of the second delay in my Freedom of Information Law request for the full documents; I’m now projected to get a response (or notice of another delay) by December 19. Anyone wishing to lay odds on whether the appraisal is released before the arena’s scheduled opening date in fall 2021 is welcome to place wagers in comments.


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