UPDATED: Angels Opt Out Of Stadium Lease With Anaheim

The Angels today announced they are opting out of their stadium lease with the City of Anaheim, which owns the 52-year old stadium.

“As we look to the future, we need the ability to continue to deliver a high-quality fan experience beyond what the original lease allows,” Angels president John Carpino said in a statement. “It is important that we look at all our options and how we can best serve our fans now and in the future.”

An Angels spokesperson noted that under the terms of the lease, the opt-out clause had to be exercised by today, or else the team would locked into the current lease until 2028.

Negotiations between the team and the Angels broke down in 2014 after Mayor Tom Tait in the wake of an acrimonious public campaign the mayor mounted attacking a council-approved negotiation framework memorandum of understanding as a “taxpayer giveaway.”  Tait also engineered the firing of the city’s chief negotiator Charles Black and his replacement with the Wylie Aitken of Aitken, Aitken and Cohn.

Aitken’s daughter Ashleigh, who also works for Aitken, Aitken and Cohn, is currently running for mayor of Anaheim.

Another mayoral candidate, gadfly Cynthia Ward, contributed to the breakdown in negotiations by suing the city in 2013 over the Angels MOU.

What does the Angels’ decision mean?  Practically speaking, they have one more season at Angel Stadium. After, they’ll have no more rights to use the stadium.

Owner Arte Moreno could have asked the city for an extension, but did not. It speaks volumes about how the city has come to be seen as an adversarial and faithless bargaining partner that he would rather take his chances finding a different venue for his team for the 2020 season.

Given the treatment being meted out to Disney and Resort hoteliers by the Tait-Moreno majority, is Moreno’s decision really that surprising?

After Disney had the rug pulled out from under its 4-Diamond hotel project by the Tait-Moreno majority, the mantra was “Disney will build the hotel anyway.”

The same people said the Angels would never opt out of their lease. And now they have.

UPDATED: Mayoral candidate Harry Sidhu released this statement regarding the Angels’ decision:

As Mayor, I will fight to keep the Angels in Anaheim. The Angels are an important asset to Anaheim. I will change the political environment and keep the Angels in Anaheim where they belong.

I am disappointed that they felt the need to opt out of the lease and explore their options, but it is not surprising in light of the hostile political environment in Anaheim. It is time for new leadership at City Hall that will work hard to keep our top business partners, jobs, and revenue in Anaheim.

23 comments

  1. Stand For Anaheim

    Wake up Anaheim! Tait and Moreno are the reason for the Disney Hotel and the Angels leaving!!!

  2. Hey guess what, if this happens all those folks hoping JKL pass will not have jobs anyways. The folks that want Anaheim to become a backwater community will get their wish. Stop blaming Tait-Moreno. The bad deals with the angels back dates most of these folks. Welcome to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Disney brought this community into 21st century. Don’t know about anyone else but I like the resort area. Quite the improvement from the seediness of yore. Can not wait for the candidates forum on the 18th. Should be fun

    • LH: I blame Tait – he’s spineless and Jose Moreno for the plague he has spread in Anaheim. I have lived here all my life and never have I seen it this bad.

      Look at Jose Moreno’s Facebook and the social media of all of his associates. There rhetoric is against both of these major business entities in Anaheim. Make no mistake all other large businesses are looking at the situation that we in Anaheim are in and they are thinking about doing business elsewhere.

      If you want someone that is forcing us into Socialism then you vote for him and you will be part of the problem right along with him.

      Who demands more money in any business and then tries to force them into caving by trying to sully their brand. Only a megalomaniac would behave that way. The megalomaniac is Jose Moreno. We can no longer afford him or his associates. They are ruining Anaheim. I will blame Jose Moreno and his ilk because I have educated myself on what he believes and his group believe in. It is very disturbing.

      WAKE UP ANAHEIM
      DO NOT VOTE FOR JOSE MORENO HE IS RUINING ANAHEIM
      DO NOT VOTE FOR AL JABBAR
      DO NOT VOTE FOR RYAN RUELAS
      DO NOT VOTE FOR MARK LOPEZ
      DO NOT VOTE FOR JUAN G. ALVAREZ
      DO NOT VOTE FOR ANNEMARIE RANDLE-TREJO
      DO NOT VOTE FOR ASHLEIGH AITKEN
      DO NOT VOTE FOR TURMOND
      DO NOT VOTE FOR WARD
      DO NOT VOTE FOR VANDERBILT

      WE NEED TO GET OUT MIKE MATSUDA
      WE NEED TO GET OUT LORENA MORENO
      WE NEED TO GET OUT DEBBIE SCHROEDER
      WE NEED TO GET OUT JOSE LARA
      WE NEED TO GET OUT J PAOLO MAGCALAS

      DID I MISS ANY ONE OF THESE CONSPIRATORS? IF I DID NAME THEM.

      Forward together Anaheim without this group of lying, fake, self-promoting evildoers.

  3. Stand For Anaheim - THE REAL ANAHEIM

    Thank you Mayor Tait for standing up to Arte. It was ridiculous to sell for $1 to a team that isn’t world series qualified.

    • Stand For Anaheim

      You have no idea what you are talking for. They leave…it’s on Tait and Moreno’s watch. You are simple ill-informed.

  4. Say no to Aitken Moreno Gaby

    so if elected, Ashleigh will make decisions on deals her daddy negotiated. That seems totally legit.
    And Tait brought daddy in- and supports Ashleigh. Nothing to see here!!

    • Stand For Anaheim

      NO ON AITKEN, MORENO and GABY- If you want the lies to continue in Anaheim…you vote for them! WAKE UP ANAHEIM!

  5. Harry will only negotiate with the Angels and make a deal where he prospers not the Angels or the taxpayers of Anaheim.

  6. Harry Sidhu is the best candidate – Hell, we even have a cemetery trustee running for mayor, yeah that’s qualified.

  7. There you go Vern – Disney, Angel’s, who is next? How many relationships will be ruined before we get this group out.

  8. Time to turn it up Mitch Caldwell. Hey Disney – Angel’s help us get Jose Moreno out. Help us get his whole group out. We need every resource you all have, and VOTE just not for him.

    Love Anaheim too much to let it go……

  9. Right at the beginning of voting too. EVER GET THE FEELING YOU’RE BEING PLAYED, ANAHEIM?

    How long have they had this October Surprise planned? Since 2016, when Murray and Brandman inexplicably insisted on giving Arte a 3-year opt-out clause? They don’t seem that smart, but maybe!

    Don’t be suckers, people. Vote for the candidates who will represent Anaheim’s people, not the wealthy special interests who just want to screw us more!

    • You love conjecture and baloney. How have you been screwed by wealthy people? Let’s hear your sob story.

      Anaheim needs leadership people that understand City P&L must be black ink. Also, average Joe or general citizens do NOT deposit money in the City of Anaheim’s coffers, and a large percentage do not even pay property taxes. At best they pay sales tax on purchases but combined it’s NOT remotely enough to cover city operational costs, including Police & Fire, etc. Negotiating in faith with big business benefits the City of Anaheim. How does that hurt you? Your hardon for wealthy people is a troubling bias that has no place in city management.

      • “The wealthy special interests who want to etc…” I am talking about very specific companies and institutions that I get tired of naming. Of COURSE not all wealthy people, nor all big companies either. Don’t caricature ME as a class warrior! (At least not in this case.)

        • Yet, you say nothing of the liberal special interest groups, like resort unions, boast about Moreno’s actions, and ignore local liberal obstructionists fronting special interest groups. Like it or not, generally, your posts exhibit a class warrior tone. Own it.

    • Vern,
      The only people who consider this a “surprise” is you Vern and Greg Diamond, who clearly does not know his behind from a hole in the ground.

      This move was not only discussed widely, publicly this summer, it is normal practice. The team is merely exercising it’s option as a form of insurance. This, if you follow sports business normal practice, think about the current Oakland A’s negotiations (which intricately involved Hillary Clinton at one point and Barbara Boxers Son, who is a MAJOR real estate investor in that city.

      This was an expected move in the course of normal business.

      I would suggest you go back to FANTASYLAND, but you have been blacklisted from Disney property after you jumped in the car drunk there, around childern. Way to go genius.

  10. Unfortunately I can’t vote for district 3 candidates and I would not vote for Moreno. Whoever mentioned Dr Schroeder has lost my vote. The others don’t care. Let’s get some new blood not constant retreads Sidhu, Galloway,Brandman, et al. I am in D4. Best to Caldwell in 3. Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim, who signed that contrac?. What city backs out of a signed deal and loses 100 million? Maybe we need that writer from the Register to run for office (I know Disney backed out, if it was your business wouldn’t you?

  11. As a retired founder and CEO of a national Human Resources Consulting company to Fortune 1000 and relatively new resident of Anaheim, I assure readers profitable large or small business will NOT accept conducting business in a toxic environment. Disney publicly stated their wise decision not to build a new hotel was due to the adversarial atmosphere that now exists in the City of Anaheim. They see the writing on the wall and won’t conduct negotiations with people that haven’t a clue or care for negotiation dynamics and the intent of balanced agreements.

    Anaheim is nationally known for Disneyland, Anaheim Angels Baseball and Convention tourism. Disney’s management cannot up and move Disneyland nevertheless their disturbing, troubling message is compelling, they will no longer “expand” in Anaheim. Since Disney publicly halted expansion, other businesses are taking notice of their action and influence, and possibly follow suit. Now, the City may lose Angels professional Baseball team that also generates millions for the city coffers and critically needed jobs. Angels Management could have disregarded the date, but their choice to act is possibly knowing the growing ugly political and ignorant social environment is not good for Anaheim’s baseball stadium or Anaheim’s future.

    Face facts by JP Donlon May 4, 2018: “Business relocation expert Joe Vranich who, as president of Irvine-based Spectrum Location Services, has been tracking the exodus of companies of all sizes. Vranich told Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) that from 2008 through 2015, at least 1,687 California companies pulled up stakes and moved elsewhere. Moreover, those are only the reported ones. Vranich cites a rule of thumb among business site-selection experts that five companies leave for each one that actually gets reported in the press so, it’s probable that as many as 10,000 companies have left in recent years.”

    Our current City Council’s disastrous decisions are destroying the City of Anaheim’s reputation as well; maybe even set the city on the road to red ink even bankruptcy like many other cities around our state and nation. Improving safety and making Anaheim a healthy place to reside, for tourists to visit and businesses to grow and expand, should be any cities agenda. Unfortunately, our City Council’s actions have a great many citizens and influential business people so concerned about business interests, costs and our cities future, progress in many essential areas had all but halted, in a time when business, nationally, expands. In other words, we’re going backward. This is all on the current City Council and Mayor’s shoulders.

    PLEASE do NOT vote in more liberals like Moreno, liberal lawyers or fake Republicans like Tait, with hidden biases and pet social projects. The City of Anaheim needs intelligent civic leaders that see value in creating a business-friendly environment that fosters all sorts of building and job creation, so city coffers are adequately funded for operation, law enforcement & fire departments, hardworking residents can work and prosper, and extra funds exist for social services.

  12. Sharon Quirk-Silva used Dr. Ford on a mailer to get elected. Al Jabbar on his Facebook has a post by Josh Newman endorsing the some of the worst of this Socialist group captioned “True Public Servants, serving the people of Anaheim”. This group that includes Sharon Quirk-Silva will stop at nothing to get elected. I saw the flyer for Quirk-Silva and thought she has sunk to a new low and will even use this issue to pander for votes.

    I hope no one falls for their pandering and lies. They are not leaders and DO NOT DESERVE OUR VOTES.

  13. Anaheim ONLY exists because of Disney and the Angels, so whatever powers that be get elected had better consider that. Disney will always be here but if they stop investing in our city the consequences will be long lasting. As for the Angels, they’ve shown us they don’t have to stay put if they don’t want to. It’s obvious the current mayor and council haven’t thought their actions through, and instead of making Anaheim a better place they’ve started to tear down it’s main pillars of support. Anaheim needs a desperate new shot in the arm sooner rather than later.

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