The land upon which Angel Stadium sits is worth $325 million if the ballpark is demolished and $225 million if the Angels stay and the surrounding land is leased to a developer, according to an appraisal commissioned by the city of Anaheim that was released Friday.
"The appraisal states the obvious," Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said. "The property is worth hundreds of millions of dollars more than $1 per year."
The Anaheim City Council last September approved the framework of a deal in which the Angels would pay for the estimated $150 million to keep the city-owned stadium operational for the long term, in exchange for the right to develop the surrounding parking lots, with a lease of $1 per year. Tait objected immediately, in part because the city had not arranged for an appraisal of the land.
Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray, one of the City Council members who voted to approve the framework, agreed the land is valuable but said the city should not opt for the "short-term economic gain" of a sale at maximum value over a long-term relationship with the Angels.
"We have the framework in front of us that keeps the team in Anaheim, renovates an old stadium, and doesn't impact our taxpayers," she said. "It's time to get a deal done that's real, with real benefits."
Murray became the first City Council member to call for finalizing an agreement since Tait started campaigning against the proposed deal seven months ago. The City Council is scheduled to discuss the matter at its next meeting Tuesday.
The Angels say they want to stay in Anaheim, but they have held exploratory talks about the feasibility of building a new ballpark in Tustin or Irvine. They could opt out of their Angel Stadium lease as soon as 2016.
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