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Tustin, California mayor tells the Angels the city won’t pay for a ballpark

Feb 19, 2014, 10:39 AM EDT

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The new ballpark dance is going on in Southern California. I’m guessing no new park is going to be built, but they gotta dance anyway.

  • The Angels and Arte Moreno gotta act like they’ll move to Tustin, California (or someplace else) during their opt-out window of 2016-19 if Anaheim doesn’t cut them a break on ballpark improvements and development of nearby land;
  • Anaheim has to act like they’ll let the Angels leave with no skin off their nose if they don’t like what they’re being offered;
  • Tustin has to act like they won’t give anything of value to the Angels to entice them to move.

All that is happening now, according to the Los Angeles Times. Except of course Moreno probably doesn’t really want to move to Tustin. And Anaheim probably really doesn’t want them to move either. And Tustin probably would give them something of value to come. And everyone’s mind on the matter would change if someone else offered them huge incentives, be they political or financial, to change their minds.

Same old tired story. Eventually someone is going to give the Angels a gift in the form of land or tax breaks because that always happens. And as they do it, they’ll shout increasingly loudly about how it’s not really a handout.

  1. josemartez - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    The Tustin Angels of Southern California.

  2. DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    Darn. I was looking forward to seeing them called “The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Tustin”

  3. jeffbbf - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Why would Tustin have to act like they *wouldn’t* give them something. Seems counterintuitive, and just shoe-horned into the bullet point to fit the post.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      Privately they want to give them something. Publicly they have to say they wouldn’t use taxpayer dollars so as not to offend its own citizens. That’s pretty clearly what their mayor is doing in the linked article.

      Then, later, after the deal is signed, it is revealed how much of a giveaway it is. At that point the mayor makes an impassioned case that, no, it’s really not a handout. This will bring jobs and benefits and blah blah blah

      • 78mu - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        Someone should ask these politicians that if these new stadiums are so good for the economy and jobs, why don’t they build two of them?

        There’s a reason the Jets and the Giants share one new stadium instead of each team getting their own.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        Don’t forget the new aspect of these, Craig–the claim that public money is not being used when public money is in fact being used. It’s a spin off on the “not much of a handout” meme, and the gullible/deluded part of the populace seems to buy it.

      • clydeserra - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:41 PM

        I am guessing tusin has a rotating mayor. One of the council members gets elected for a term. They aren’t professional politicians.

        I think Anaheim has a real mayor. They also have other revenue streams (disneyland et al). I can’t see this not being a ballpark village in the Big A parkinglot.

    • badsequel - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      The mayor doesn’t totally speak for the city. It’s the same thing with Anaheim. The city council leans towards supporting Arte, but the mayor seems against him.

      • moogro - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        Good cop, bad cop technique against the Public.

  4. 78mu - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    It is always amazing when Joe Taxpayer is supposed to give money to billionaires so they can hire a handful of millionaires.

    • gibbyfan - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Your so right 78…….Actually this kind of thing goes on all the time –it’s known as corporate welfare. Firms exact enticements from tax payers to move/stay and theoretically create/keep jobs. What is distasteful about pro sports is exactly your point –having taxpayers support going primarily to billionaires and and indeed a smal handful of not millionaires but extremely wealth young men—there is a difference.

      • 78mu - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        Yeah, I know it’s been going on for a long time.

        In St. Louis after the Cardinals moved to Phoenix because we wouldn’t build a new stadium for Bidwell (yeah for common sense) the politicians decided to build a new stadium on spec and tax people not just in the area but all across Missouri (boo to common sense).

        Busch Stadium II was built for 5 million back in 1966 and paid for by the brewery. It wasn’t the greatest stadium in the world but the new stadiums are not 100 times better even after accounting for inflation. And politicians and team owners expect the taxpayer to pick up the tab since they can always threaten to move (cough, cough Kroenke cough, cough). When one of the richest men in the world expects taxpayers to pony up for a new stadium people have to question the whole system and quit letting politicians be so free with other people’s money.

      • moogro - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        Billionaires and corporations-persons should do without welfare so they can learn the intrinsic value of hard work.

      • negaduck - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:03 AM

        The top 1% of US taxpayers pay almost as much in federal income taxes as the entire bottom 95%

  5. halladaysbiceps - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    If the Angels move to Tustin, they should change their name to the Tustin Raiders (out of homage to the Tusken Raiders ala Star Wars).

  6. asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Where in Tustin would they build a ballpark anyway?

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      “In September, the Anaheim City Council approved the framework of a deal in which Moreno would pay $150 million to renovate Angel Stadium in exchange for development rights to the adjacent land at $1 per year. Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait has fought the deal ever since, arguing that the land is too valuable to lease at that rate without sharing in any development profits.”

      I oppose any public money going to stadium building, but I got a good chuckle out of this one. Yes, that land is so “valuable”. Because all the condos and apartment buildings and office buildings in the Platinum Triangle are doing soooo well.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      “Tustin City Manager Jeffrey Parker said Moreno had expressed particular interest in the northeast corner of the property formerly occupied by the Marine Corps air station.”

      Oh of course. Yes, there is a lot of space there but seems to me that would be a traffic nightmare. At least I could take a taxi to games.

      • clydeserra - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        Taxi? orange county?

        Things have changed in the 20 years since I left. (although it is still a complete and total nightmare of an area)

    • clydeserra - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM


  7. Professor Fate - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    The NFL has been absent from L.A. for more than 20 years because no elected official wants to commit political suicide by providing the kind of outrageous money NFL owners insist on getting for an expansion franchise. Several attempts have been made at building a privately-financed stadium for the same reason.

    I can’t imagine that the more conservative Orange County pols would risk the same implications by even partially tax-payer funding a new stadium. This sounds more like Moreno trying to use the relatively empty threat of moving in order to squeeze something out of Anaheim.

    • 78mu - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      I hope you’re right. But my experience is to never trust a politician when they know it’s not their money they are spending.

      Besides if they lose an election they always have their nice pensions available plus cushy “consulting” jobs with lobbying organizations.

      • moogro - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Exactly. The politicians are already lining up their next gigs in exchange for ramming this through.

  8. triaxfusion - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Tax payers pay for the stadium, then get charged to attend said stadium, and charged even more to enjoy some concessions at the stadium they paid for. When the “owner” sells said stadium, how much of that money is returned to the people who paid for it to be built again?

  9. badsequel - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    The best choice is building a new stadium right next to Angels Stadium. There is plenty of room to do it with that massive parking lot. The way they design/build stadiums now, the can erect half of the new stadium during a season, then when the season ends they can tear down the old stadium and erect the rest of the new stadium in its place and be ready for baseball the next season.

  10. missingdiz - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    If the team doesn’t play better than last year, the Angels won’t have much of a bargaining position.

    • moogro - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      If they dropped their accursed gimmicky name, they would improve immediately.

  11. Robert - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Salt Lake City would love the Halos.

  12. djzero22 - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Put them in Santa Ana, vatos.

  13. gloccamorra - Feb 20, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    Obviously, Arte Moreno is using the wrong city to serve as an alternate. Instead of Tustin, he should be talking to Irwindale, which is about to lose its sriracha plant to Texas. With only about 1400 people, selling a multi-million dollar bond would be difficult, but there’s plenty of land, mostly quarries, so there’s plenty of building material for a new ballpark. How does “Los Angeles Angels at the Quarry in Irwindale” sound?

    • tonyz6060chevy - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      that sounds way better ,at least the Angel’s will actually be in L.A. County.BUT, what if the locals start complaining of the stench the Angels are releasing into the atmosphere in the middle of the day?

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