What is a Fair Lease for Anaheim?



Diego Alvarez, Author

August 27th, 2019 Angel Stadium is reinstating its lease from 1996. Critics say the city of Anaheim isn’t asking for enough of their most valuable asset.

The city council approved a lease of one more year by a 5-2 vote. The Angels have full control over the stadium until 2029 as the 1996 lease was reinstated and not extended, a detail that was not clear to some council members.

Denice Barnes and Jose Moreno voted against the reinstatement. Moreno had even warned the public about getting a bad deal, this flustered some council members. When Barnes asked Mayor Sidhu about what the council voted on he replied, “Absolutely… Listen, everything is in the report, if you have not read it, it’s not my fault.”

Anaheim has been losing money over the years due to Arte Moreno not paying fair rent, unlike every other renter in Anaheim. On top of that, the city pays hundreds of thousands of dollars for the upkeeping of the stadium. In 2015-2016, the city actually lost $440,000.

The big question is whether the stadium will be rebuilt or renovated. Another option would be for a new stadium in Long Beach, which would be built in an 11-acre parking lot located in downtown. This third option would be devastating for the Angels as they would have to pay the city a relocation penalty.

The city of Anaheim has decided on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) meaning the building and operating stages of the project are bundled so that private firms have strong investments in the operating phase. Mixed-use development is becoming more and more prevalent in Orange County, as well as in sports. Even if the city is not profiting from the Angels, they will generate enough revenue from the project to make up for it. 

”Let me be clear, the actual value of the land, when we sell that, is going to be a benefit for the residents, whether we have a partnership with the Angels to build, whether its apartment complexes, whether it’s commercial whether its an entertainment center,” says Mayor Sidhu. ”It’s the future revenue we’re looking at”

Aside from real estate many people, such as Jose Moreno, want to see Anaheim added back into the name of the team. This, in turn, would give the city more exposure and add to its cultural value. Currently, many refer to LA or no city at all when talking about the team. Moreno suggested the team should compensate the city for excluding Anaheim from the name of the team to which Lucille Kring and Trevor O’Neill said the team won the legal right to call itself by the Los Angeles name and the city of Anaheim would have to compensate the Angels to change it. ”That would be a subsidy,” O’Neill said.

The city of Anaheim is in a strong position overall, but many people are worried about the team and the city’s economy. Anaheim is set on keeping the team, as it’s a global tourist destination and a cultural icon.