In November, Terry Notko spent $8.95 to register the domain name www.losangelesangelsofanaheim.com. In January, the Angels officially renamed themselves the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Notko hoped he could sell the name for a nice profit.
So far, no sale. Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), which controls team websites, contacted him and offered $1,000, he said. The Laguna Niguel businessman and Angel season-ticket holder made a counteroffer, which was rejected. Neither side would specify Notko's asking price, but both sides indicated it was more than the $20,000 MLBAM paid for www.nationals.com. Notko said, "It was worth more than the Nationals."
Bob Bowman, MLBAM chief executive, said MLBAM disagreed because fans most likely would use the team nickname alone -- for example, www.nationals.com or www.dodgers.com-- in trying to access the team website. Bowman said MLBAM paid $4,000 each to acquire www.laangels.com, www.laangels.org and www.laangels.net.
In fact, www.laangels.com links to the Angel website, a possible violation of the Orange County Superior Court warning that the team not drop "of Anaheim" and call itself the Los Angeles Angels in any context. Mike Rubin, co-counsel for the city of Anaheim in its lawsuit alleging the new name violates the stadium lease, declined to say whether the city might pursue that issue in court.