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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Anaheim OKs Angels lease talks amid mention of team's ability to move

Council vote pushes stadium lease 'opt out' from 2016 to 2019 and would allow team to drop 'of Anaheim' from name. City consultant tells of owner Arte Moreno's resources to take team to another city.

September 03, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Angels owner Arte Moreno emphasized to the city of Anaheim that he has the means to move the team to another location in Southern California.
Angels owner Arte Moreno emphasized to the city of Anaheim that he has the… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

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As the Anaheim City Council voted Tuesday to enter formal lease negotiations with the Angels, a consultant representing the city said owner Arte Moreno has emphasized he has the means to move the team elsewhere.

By a 4-1 vote, with Mayor Tom Tait in opposition, the City Council voted to allow the Angels to opt out of their current stadium lease as late as 2019, rather than the current date of 2016.

"The owner of the Angels has made clear in our discussions he has the resources and willingness to build his own stadium," said city consultant Charles Black, president of CB Urban Development in San Diego.

Black also told the council the Angels could move to Irvine, Irwindale or "at least half a dozen potential sites" in downtown Los Angeles.

After the meeting, Black said Moreno had not mentioned specific alternative sites in the talks with Anaheim.

Angels President John Carpino declined to comment when asked whether team officials had held discussions with other cities.

The council vote authorizes negotiations based on deal points that include the team calling itself the Los Angeles Angels and dropping the "of Anaheim" suffix.

The Angels also would extend their lease through 2036 — and possibly as long as 2057 — in exchange for development rights to the parking lots around the stadium.

The stadium needs $130 million to $150 million in capital improvements over the next 20 years, according to a city report. That estimate accounts solely for infrastructure — electrical maintenance and upgrades, concrete repairs, waterproofing and such—– at the stadium.

The Angels would pay all of that cost and would pay above and beyond for any improvements that would generate additional revenue for the team, for example, more luxury seating.

The total costs might be so substantial, Black said, Moreno might well consider razing Angel Stadium and building a new one on the adjacent parking lot.

With no cost for land acquisition, Black said Moreno could build a new ballpark for $450 million to $500 million. Carpino said that could be an option.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Twitter: @BillShaikin

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