The Anaheim city council met last night to go over the Los Angeles Angels stadium renovation and lease extension plan, and came out promising to finally reveal the city’s land valuation of the Angel Stadium site that team owner Arte Moreno wants to develop. Only somebody jumped the gun and leaked details of the team’s actual offer to the O.C. Register:
Anaheim’s hometown baseball team would continue playing in Angel Stadium for another 30 years, and the city would sell the stadium and 133 acres around it to a business partnership including team owner Arte Moreno for about $325 million, under the proposed outline of a deal that Anaheim City Council members were briefed on Tuesday, Dec. 3…
“For every fan who told us to keep the Angels, this proposal would do exactly that,” Mayor Harry Sidhu said in a statement. “This proposal reflects what we’ve heard from the community – keep the Angels, a fair land price, money for neighborhoods, ongoing revenue, affordable housing, parks and jobs for Anaheim.”…
Angels officials are still considering whether to renovate the stadium or build a new one, team spokeswoman Marie Garvey said. They’ve hired HKS Architects – which designed Minneapolis’ recently opened NFL stadium and is working on a new ballpark for the Texas Rangers – to explore their options.
Okay, so would it actually be a fair land price? There are still a bunch of big questions that the Register story leaves unanswered:
- What’s the land valuation on that appraisal? The last appraisal, in 2014, came up with a figure of $325 million, so this would seem to be slightly light given inflation in the real estate market since then, but in the (sorry) ballpark. But we should know more this afternoon.
- Would selling the land mean no more rent payments from the team to the city? Though given that the city gets pretty much nothing from the stadium now, that’s not much of a loss.
- If the Angels are outright buying the land, does this mean they’d start paying property taxes on it? If so, this could be a huge benefit for Anaheim; if not, then that’s a tax break there, friends.
- The Register writes that “the [affordable] housing and parks would be given a dollar value that would be subtracted from the land’s selling price” — so does this mean that the team can build affordable housing and parks on its land and claim this as an in-kind payment to reduce its land price? If so, who’s going to be determining that dollar value, and what recourse is there if Moreno tries to claim this his parks are so nice that they’re worth $325 million?
The Register gives no indication of whether its reporters saw the actual agreement or just got some cherry-picked highlights (the only sourcing note is to “city information”), so it’s really tough to know if we’re getting the whole picture here, or just the PR spin. More tomorrow morning after the appraisal is out and I’ve had time to read it, because that’s what journalists are supposed to do, read source materials and report back what they find, or at least so I always thought.
UPDATE: Spencer Custodio of Voice of OC points out that this entire story is apparently sourced to a three-page fact sheet on the city of Anaheim’s website, which is exactly as undetailed as you’d expect a three-page city fact sheet to be. Questions above answered: zero.