Week in Review : MAJOR EVENTS, IMAGES AND PEOPLE I ORANGE COUNTY NEWS : CITIES : Ueberroth Testifies for Angels in Stadium Suit
In dramatic court testimony, Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth said he would recommend that professional baseball move elsewhere if 68 acres of the Anaheim Stadium parking lot are developed for the benefit of the Los Angeles Rams.
The development would “dramatically damage” the California Angels,” Ueberroth testified in a Santa Ana courtroom Friday, and “I would recommend as commissioner that someplace else be found in Anaheim, in Orange County, to build a stadium.”
As part of a deal to attract the Rams to Anaheim Stadium in 1978, the city of Anaheim signed contracts giving the football club right to develop two portions of the parking lot covering 68 acres. The Angels claim their lease with the city, made 14 years earlier, required to the city to obtain the baseball club’s approval before allowing parking lot development.
The Angels have spent the last seven months in court trying to block the contacts.
Development of the 68 acres would “dramatically reduce the attendance to that stadium of major league baseball,” Ueberroth said in Orange County Superior Court.
The Angels are seeking a court order blocking the development, or $100,000,000 in damages if building takes place. Ueberroth, who was the final witness in the Angel’s seven-month case, was considered critical to the Angels’ hopes to show that the damage the club will suffer is so severe that the development should be prohibited.
Even if the development is limited to the project that has progressed the most, a proposal for six high-rise buildings along Orangewood Avenue, the impact on baseball would be severe, Ueberroth testified. But the partial development wouldn’t compel him to urge the Angels to leave the stadium, Ueberroth said.