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Angels

Angels owner makes a trade with Anaheim in stadium deal: time for money

Angels owner Arte Moreno at a news conference.
The Anaheim City Council has granted Angels owner Arte Moreno more time to determine whether he wants to walk away from Angel Stadium development deal.
(Josh Lefkowitz / Getty Images)

The Anaheim City Council voted Tuesday to allow Angels owner Arte Moreno to submit his plan for the Angel Stadium site ahead of schedule but granted him an additional three months to decide whether to walk away from the deal.

In December, the council approved the sale of the 153-acre site for $325 million to a company affiliated with Moreno, who would decide whether to renovate the current stadium or build a new one. That deal envisions a reduction in the final purchase price, depending on what affordable housing, open space and community benefits Moreno’s company is willing to include in a development agreement.

The only councilman to vote against the proposal presented Tuesday was Jose Moreno, no relation to the Angels owner. Jose Moreno expressed concern that the current recession and the prospect of economic uncertainty for years might make it unwise to extend from the time in which Arte Moreno’s company could walk away from the deal. That deadline was extended from June 30 to Sept. 30.

Walking away would be an unlikely prospect, suggested deputy city manager David Belmer. While the NHL Ducks are planning an entertainment-themed destination around the nearby Honda Center, Belmer said the Angels’ plans are “more residential” and thus less likely to be affected by the economic downturn. Belmer said the economic environment could be “challenged” for the retail and commercial leasing envisioned within the Angel Stadium development.

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Major League Baseball owners have given the go-ahead on a proposal to the players’ union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting in July.

By May 30, Moreno’s company agreed to submit a site plan to the city, which Belmer said would include projected locations for such major elements as parking structures, residential and commercial zones, roadways, and open space. The site — the current stadium and surrounding parking lots — is half again as large as Disneyland.

Under the original agreement, the city would have received $20 million in deposit payments no later than July 2 of this year and another $10 million no later than 2023. Under Tuesday’s deal, the total of $30 million is due no later than Oct. 2 of this year, provided that Moreno’s company proceeds with the deal.

“We’re giving up three months to gain almost 29 months,” Belmer said.

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With city revenues battered by the coronavirus crisis, the council was more than willing to trade an extra three months for an extra $10 million this year. The city’s parks budget this year is $10.8 million.

“We don’t call the Angels the Angels for nothing,” councilwoman Lucille Kring said. “They have become the angels on our shoulder.”


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