The Angels have officially opted out of their stadium lease with the City of Anaheim today. While the team is free to pursue other locations for a new ballpark, this is likely a negotiating tactic by Arte Moreno, whose desires to develop part of the parking lot into a dining and retail center are widely known.
Here is the official quote from the team:
“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. It is important that we look at all our options and how we can best serve our fans now and in the future.” — John Carpino.
Why now? Two reasons:
- If not today, the Angels would not have had the opportunity to opt out again until 2028.
- Mayor Tom Tait. He was the one who scuttled a 2013 proposal from Arte that would have seen Arte invest $150 million of his own money into the Big A in exchange for a sweetheart deal on part of the parking lot: $1. Mr. Tait’s final term as mayor is about to wrap up.
So, the Angels are free to leave, but talk as though they want to stay. With a new mayor in town, Arte is free to again angle for development rights. In the meantime, the team will continue to call the Big A home for the foreseeable future.
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