Anaheim Sets Loss on Name

Times Staff Writer

The Angels' name change could cost the city of Anaheim almost $200 million over the next decade and almost $400 million through the expiration of the Angel Stadium lease in 2029, according to expert analysts retained by the city.

The figures, included in court papers filed Wednesday, provide an estimate of the damages the city might seek when it goes to trial against the Angels next week. The city alleges the Angels have broken their stadium lease by billing themselves as a Los Angeles team and dropping references to Anaheim on advertisements, broadcasts and products.

In two of the three analyses cited, experts determined the cost of advertising at major league stadiums and in local and national media. The experts then assessed the visibility of the Anaheim name in those places before the name change and calculated a dollar amount at a fraction of that cost, given that an ad would have made more of an impression than the sight of the Anaheim name on a uniform or scoreboard.

The city could lose $191.6 million in exposure from 2005 to 2016, when the Angels can opt out of their lease, according to Arthur Adler, a veteran New York sports marketing executive. In a second analysis, provided by Laren Ukman of the Chicago sponsorship and marketing agency IEG, the city could lose $191.3 million through 2016 and $374.4 million through 2029, when the lease expires.

The city lost $33 million worth of exposure last year, the first under the new name, according to Ukman. If Anaheim wins at trial, co-counsel Andy Guilford said the city would seek damages for last season even if Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Polos prevents the Angels from playing under the Los Angeles name in future seasons.

Guilford would not say precisely how much the city might ask in damages, either for one season or for the balance of the lease.

The third assessment, by Smith College economist Andrew Zimbalist, analyzed how much the city lost by contributing to the 1996 stadium renovation and keeping the Angels in town rather than selling the real estate, thus reaping the sale price and subsequent taxes from property development. Zimbalist estimates the city's lost opportunity cost at $138.5 million.

In court papers, the Angels have challenged these calculations as speculative and asked Polos to prevent the jury from hearing them. They have categorized such figures as wildly inflated, arguing the city's name on the team could not possibly be worth more than the $183.5 million Arte Moreno paid for the team itself in 2003.

The Angels also have retained experts to argue that the team has caused the city no economic harm, in part because record ticket sales under Moreno have led to record revenue sharing with the city. The Angels also dispute that lost exposure equates to lost business and tourism revenue, citing sworn testimony from city officials that sales taxes and hotel occupancy taxes are up since the name change.

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