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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Forcing Angels' Owners to Play It Straight

June 01, 2005

Your May 20 editorial, "Touched By the Angels," misses the point of my legislation, AB 1041, which would require the Los Angeles Angels baseball team and other professional sports teams within the state that do not play the majority of their games in the geographic location used in their name to print a disclaimer on all their tickets, advertisements and promotional materials.

The bill is meant to bring attention to the deceptive attempt by Angels' ownership to give the false impression that the team plays in Los Angeles, while at the same time helping to ensure that the Anaheim taxpayers receive their fair due. The residents of Anaheim paid millions of dollars -- through a substantial rent reduction on the Anaheim Stadium lease -- to have Anaheim prominently attached to the Angels' team name.

It is unfortunate that Angels' ownership has chosen to renege on its contract with Anaheim. Naming rights have economic value. There is no doubt that the name change was intended to deceive advertisers, fans, consumers and others. Angels' ownership needs to come to its senses, honor the intent of its contract with Anaheim and restore the truthful name.

Assemblyman Tom Umberg

Garden Grove

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