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Could the Angels move to a new downtown L.A. ballpark?

Apr 30, 2012, 11:34 AM EDT

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This is fun. And, if you’re the Dodgers or an Angels fan who lives in Orange County, kind of scary: Angels owner Arte Moreno met with the president of AEG, and it at least suggests the possibility that Moreno is investigating moving the Angels to a new ballpark to be built in downtown Los Angeles.

For those who are unaware, AEG owns the Staples Center downtown and is behind the substantial surrounding entertainment/dining/everything development.  Currently they are also the group pushing to build a football stadium down there in order to draw an NFL team.

Bill Shaikin’s report suggests that this could lead to a new ballpark, and notes that Moreno suggested as much as long ago as 2005.  And of course the meeting is notable in and of itself.  The problem, though, is that last year AEG said this when people started talking about the Dodgers moving downtown:

“Under no circumstances are we interested in building a baseball stadium. If you logically just think through playing baseball games in April, May and June when we have Lakers, Clippers and Kings playoff games that are scheduled on a week’s notice. Look at the conflict that would be created during that time. If you logically think through baseball playoff games which are scheduled on a week’s notice and we have Kings, Lakers and Clippers beginning their season, it doesn’t work.”

Obviously people can change their minds about such things, but that was a pretty detailed denial of baseball interest. Why they’d change now is unclear. Maybe because they’d catch less civic hell by luring the Angels up from Anaheim than they would taking the Dodgers out of Chavez Ravine. Maybe because they know something we don’t about the viability of a football stadium downtown and are willing to investigate plan B now.

Or maybe, like any good business, AEG will always take a meeting to listen to things even if it’s not that interested in pursuing the opportunity. Call it the Solozzo principle.  And maybe Moreno is just using the existence of AEG and the possibility of a new stadium to wring some sort of concessions out of the city of Anaheim as the team’s 2016 opt-out window nears.

All worth watching, of course.

  1. danaking - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    I didn’t realize there was a downtown LA.

    I think it’s awesome Arte Moreno has a $3 billion TV contract and can afford to pay Albert Pujols $240 million, but may need to exert leverage to get Anaheim to cut him a sweetheart deal, or I’m sure he’ll have no choice but to leave for LA, as he just can’t afford to stay.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      “This is the business we’ve chosen,” added Moreno.

  2. mybrunoblog - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    The AEG president said to Moreno ” I said I would meet you because I had heard you were a serious man but to this I must say no and I’ll give you my reasons”

    Godfather aside AEG football deal is still miles from reality. I doubt the Angels idea ever amounts to anything. California, LA county both have serious financial issues and wouldn’t touch this. I know Moreno is flush with television $ but this dog isn’t gonna hunt.

    • kopy - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      Don’t tell that to the NFL and Minnesota Vikings ownership. If we don’t get a stadium tomorrow, the Vikings will be in Downtown LA on Wednesday, according to them.

  3. 18thstreet - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    The leaders of Anaheim ought to respond to Moreno with the Corleone offer:

    “You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.”

  4. scatterbrian - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Wouldn’t this infringe on the Dodgers’ territorial rights? Won’t MLB need to form a committee, then give said committee at least three years to determine whether or not the move is viable?

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      Don’t they need a committee to discuss whether a committee is warranted?

    • jsc1973 - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      No. The Angels indemnified the Dodgers for moving into the L.A. market when they were formed in 1961. The Dodgers actually imposed rather draconian terms on Gene Autry at that time. They can’t claim further compensation even if Moreno built a stadium a block from Chavez Ravine. Remember, they were originally called the “Los Angeles Angels” and played inside the city of L.A. until Anaheim Stadium was built. They even played at Dodger Stadium for a while.

  5. hackerjay - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    I don’t really see what the Angels would gain by this move. They have been in the top three in attendance every year for the last ten years and they have a huge TV deal. Would moving 25 miles up really gain them that much visibility?

    • sir1389 - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      None at all because all the rich people in Orange County who go to Angels’ games won’t be going anymore as they all hate travelling to LA, hence living in OC in the first place.

  6. slumdog66 - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    First he changes the damn name. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sounds so stupid. Now he’s thinking about relocating…

    • CJ - Apr 30, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      The Organization Formerly Known As The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, At Least Until AEG Showed Us The Money, Thusly We Are Henceforth Known as The Los Angeles Angels of AEG, And If The Dodgers Don’t Like It, They Can Sue Us.

      ^ already approved official 2017 team name of your LA Pujolses.

  7. yankeesfanlen - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Y’re in mid-season form already, Craig

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    The Angels can make this idiotic move, and then the A’s can take Angel Stadium! Voila!

  9. stackers1 - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Hit em now, while we got the muscle.

  10. natsattack - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    The name will change? What a surprise.

  11. kpow55 - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    When the Dodgers were interested, AEG states, “we’re not interested, bla, bla blah”

    Anyone else shows interest, “come on down, look around, we’ll set up a meeting”

    Granted, they Angels would be idiots to move out of a top 5 park, just funny the over all lack of respect for the Dodgers in their “home market”.

    No worries though, I’m sure Magic and the new ownership would never start raffling off starters after the inevitable post all star game slide.

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