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Angels' owner has means to move team, Anaheim City Council told

September 04, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Angels owner Arte Moreno outside Angel Stadium in 2004.
Angels owner Arte Moreno outside Angel Stadium in 2004. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Angels owner Arte Moreno has emphasized to city officials that he has the means and willingness to move the baseball team out of Anaheim.

A city consultant told city council members Tuesday that Moreno could move the Angels to Irvine, Irwindale or “at least half a dozen potential sites” in downtown Los Angeles.

The warning came as council members 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.

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 with Moreno on a number of fronts, including the team calling itself the Los Angeles Angels, rather than the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

As part of the negotiations, the Angels also would extend their lease in Anaheim through 2036 — and possibly as long as 2057 — in exchange for development rights to the parking lots around the stadium. The city has long envisioned building a retail and residential hub near the venue.

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.

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bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Twitter: @BillShaikin

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