What could cost Angels more than Albert Pujols or Anthony Rendon? Leaving Anaheim
The Angels signed Anthony Rendon for $245 million and Albert Pujols for $240 million. If they wish to move out of Anaheim in the next 30 years, they could have to pay even more.
Under an agreement released Thursday night, the Angels would commit to play in Anaheim through 2050, with options to remain as long as 2075. However, if the Angels leave town before 2050, they could owe the city as much as $300 million.
The “Angels commitment agreement” is among several documents the Anaheim City Council will consider Tuesday as it moves toward finalizing the sale of Angel Stadium and the surrounding land to a company controlled by team owner Arte Moreno. The sale price includes $150 million in cash and $170 million in credits to Moreno’s company for including affordable housing and a seven-acre park within the 150-acre development. The deal is expected to receive final approval on Oct. 6.
Under the commitment agreement, the city would first respond to a potential Angels move by seeking a court injunction to force the team to play out the term of the agreement at Angel Stadium. If the city were unable to obtain such an injunction, the Angels would have to pay the city $300 million in damages, with that amount declining by $10 million each year. The minimum amount of damages, through the life of the agreement, would be $100 million.
While Moreno owns the Angels and the SRB Management development company, the two entities are separate. The commitment agreement is intended to bind the team to Angel Stadium even if the Angels and SRB eventually do not have the same owner.
General manager Billy Eppler is likely to take the fall for another disappointing Angels season, but owner Arte Moreno is the constant over a decade of losing.
The Angels arrived in Anaheim in 1966, and the ballpark in which they play has been called Anaheim Stadium, Edison Field and now Angel Stadium. The development deal gives SRB the right to renovate the ballpark, or replace it elsewhere on the property. No decision has been announced, but in either case the commitment agreement could keep the Angels in Anaheim for more than 100 years.
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