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Angels May Have to Move, Ueberroth Testifies

June 21, 1986|JOHN SPANO | Times Staff Writer

Development of a portion of the Anaheim Stadium parking lot would "dramatically damage" the Angels, Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth testified Friday, and he said such an occurrence would result in his recommendation that the team move to a different Orange County location.

"I would recommend as commissioner that someplace else be found in Anaheim, in Orange County, to build a stadium," Ueberroth said in Orange County Superior Court.

As part of a deal to attract the Rams to Anaheim Stadium in 1978, the City of Anaheim signed contracts giving the football club the right to develop two portions of the parking lot covering 68 acres. The Angels claim their lease with the city, made 14 years earlier, required that the city obtain the baseball club's approval before allowing parking lot development.

The Angels have spent the last seven months in court trying to block the contracts.

Development of the 68 acres by Anaheim Stadium Associates, a joint venture of the heirs of the late Ram owner, Carroll Rosenmbloom, and a Boston-based development company, would "dramatically reduce the attendance to that stadium of major league baseball," Ueberroth said. "It would dramatically reduce and dramatically damage the (Angel) franchise. You might as well plow it under."

The Angels have asked for a court order blocking the development, or $100 million in damages if building takes place. Ueberroth, who was the final witness in the Angels' case, was considered critical to the team's plan to show that the damage the club would suffer is so severe that the development should be prohibited.

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