Angels owner maybe tries stadium shenanigans as world burns, who even has time and energy to tell anymore honestly?

I’m more than a little distracted by other things right now, as I expect you are too, but I just wanted to note briefly one line from this Los Angeles Times article from Friday about how Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno is asking for a one-month extension to the end of June for submitting plans to the city for developing his stadium’s parking lot:

Mike Lyster, the spokesman for the city, said the city manager could approve the request as a “non-substantive” change to the sale agreement, with no City Council vote required.

Now, the one-month delay isn’t that huge a deal — the world has turned upside down since the Anaheim city council approved Moreno’s hugely-discounted land purchase in December, so it makes sense that he might want more time before deciding whether building an entertainment district with restaurants and bars and other things we can’t have right now is really the best use of his new development-rights windfall. But still: Moreno agreed to the end-of-May deadline as part of his renegotiated agreement with the city (he got an extra three months to decide whether to go ahead with the deal, the city got some accelerated land purchase payments to help with its Covid-related budget crunch), so should the city manager really be able to just give him an extra 30 days without anybody voting on this, because hey, we’re all friends here?

Normally, I would check out what Spencer Custodio of the Voice of OC has to say about this, because he’s been one of the few reporters to actually dig into the Angels stadium deal beyond the press releases, but he appears to be on full-time Covid and police violence protest watch these days — as are we all, but the combination of one unthinkable crisis after another with a rapidly disintegrating journalism industry means that many, many stories are just being left uncovered. (Hey, remember when we had time to spend being concerned about small businesses going out of business as a result of the Covid economic crash? Those were good times.) So I am sorry to report that I can’t tell you for sure whether Arte Moreno is pulling a fast one or just rejiggering some paperwork, only that we have arrived at the point in history where the very concept of knowing things for sure is beginning to melt into thin air.

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4 comments on “Angels owner maybe tries stadium shenanigans as world burns, who even has time and energy to tell anymore honestly?

  1. Yeah I don’t think there is enough to go on to be cynical yet. With everyone sheltering in place there is probably a good chance that whoever he had working on the proposal on his end wasn’t able to get everything done and whoever they had to deal with on the city side wasn’t in the office either.

    1. That’s likely the case, aqib. However, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that he thinks he can get some sort of rebate on or renegotiation of the price based on the new conditions (real or perceived). There is no crisis so horrific that it can’t be used to justify a financial windfall for some otherwise unaffected/marginally affected billionaire carpetbagger.

      Hey, when life gives you lemons (or just slightly flat or improperly chilled pellegrino), you know…

  2. I would like to think that there is some way this could end with the city/county charging Moreno some sort of default fee for deciding not to develop the land he demanded to be allowed to develop at a significant discount on it’s FMV. But I know better.

    It is more likely that, should he decide either not to develop it or just not to do so anytime soon, he will receive a full FMV payout for voluntarily surrendering the rights he didn’t actually pay for in the first place because, hey, you can’t expect a businessman to actually sink or swim based on their own projections and decisions in a capitalist society can you?

    That said, I think it is too soon for anyone to know what the future of commerce and discretionary entertainment spending will look like… so this isn’t that much of a surprise.

    We may be closer to Neil’s long proposed ‘HD TV studios with club seats and only a few of them’ sports stadia than ever before. While crowd noise would be missed (except in those facilities where the ticket price is so high the atmosphere is more croquet club than Meadowlands c 1985), it can be piped in. Maybe tax payers can even be billed for the cost of piping it in.

    1. Why not holographic fans piped in from other systems watching competition isolated on a space station ala Star Trek Voyager season 6 episode 16 where seven of nine has to battle The Rock. They are actually prisoners but only a little
      different than pro athletes being sequestered in vegas or orlando.

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