Angels have made 'zero' progress with Anaheim on stadium lease deal

'We are nowhere,' Angels Owner Arte Moreno says of progress on new stadium lease deal with city of Anaheim

Owner Arte Moreno said the Angels have made no progress with the city of Anaheim on a new stadium lease since the sides broke off talks in September and that the Angels continue to explore potential stadium sites in Southern California.

“We are nowhere,” Moreno said, when asked where the Angels were in negotiations with Anaheim on a lease for the 50-year-old ballpark. “That means we have had zero conversations since long before September.”

The Angels have a three-year window from 2016-19 in which they can opt out of their stadium lease. If they don’t opt out, the lease extends through 2029.

In September 2013, the Anaheim City Council voted 4-1 to approve the framework of a deal in which the Angels would pay the estimated $150 million cost to refurbish the infrastructure of Angel Stadium.

In exchange, the city would lease the parking lot surrounding the stadium to Moreno for $1 per year, enabling him to develop the land and use the proceeds to recoup the stadium renovation cost.

Mayor Tom Tait objected, saying the land was worth too much for the city to lease it for so little without any promise of sharing in the development proceeds. The city subsequently commissioned an appraisal that estimated the city could lease that land for $225 million.

The Angels had indicated they would be willing to share in any development proceeds once the stadium renovation costs were paid off. The Angels broke off negotiations in September, although they said at the time they were willing to restart talks on a fresh proposal.

The Angels also have talked extensively with the city of Tustin about building a new stadium on a former military base there, but Tustin officials have made it clear they would want a return on investment for any land provided to the Angels. Those talks also have stalled recently.

Asked if he was considering the Farmers Field site in downtown Los Angeles that appears to be falling behind Inglewood and Carson in its attempt to lure an NFL team, Moreno said, “No comment,” but he added that “the landscape of the whole football thing is interesting.”

Are the Angels considering any other sites?

“We try to keep all of that to ourselves,” Moreno, in his 13th  year as owner, said as pitchers and catchers completed their first spring-training workout Friday. “We’re still looking at opportunities.

“We can mess around with the agreement until 2019. If we don’t do anything, we’re there until 2020. So there’s no pressure to do anything. We have a 50-year-old stadium. We’re trying to maintain it.”

Follow Mike DiGiovanna on Twitter @MikeDiGiovanna

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

1:05 p.m.: Corrects age of Angels Stadium to 50-years-old from 48.

This story was originally published at 12:17 p.m.

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