In the Left Angeles Times yesterday is Angels talk with developer about potential Irvine ballpark (outside any paywall here – we’re never sure when it’s working). Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham also picked up on it at his Anaheim Blog and offered this rubbish:
Now, if you’re a member of the torpedo-the-Angels-negotiations claque, clear your mind and repeat after me: The Angels have nowhere to go. The Angels have nowhere (sic), The Angels have nowhere to go.
Well apparently they DO. We wouldn’t doubt for a minute that Emil Haddad, the very smart and powerful developer of 4,606 homes at FivePoint Communities which borders the Great Park or the slippery Irvine Councilman Jeff Lalloway would jump at any lucrative arrangement which would bring the Angels to a new stadium at the property — to hell with the bankrupt and corrupt $220 million Great Park plan — there’s a lot of money to be made and this opportunity is a perfect solution for recovering the funds squandered by Larry Agran, Beth Krom and their cronies when they controlled the Park Board and Irvine City Council. What better way for Irvine to get itself out of the Great Park hole than by bringing a revenue-generator to town like an almost-contending Major League baseball team that has a six-year, $144.5M lock on Mike Trout, as well as two expensive, aging “superstars” in Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton?
Ignored in this scenario will be the irony of Irvine’s shameless land grab of El Toro MCAS — stealing American taxpayers’ and Orange County’s property away for Larry, Beth and Sukhee’s Central Park clone AND ALSO ensuring it wouldn’t be used for a traffic-generating, tax-and fee-generating, carbon-spewing, noisy, parking-intensive, night-operational, job-generating, and certainly profitable international airport with military-grade jet runways near a major freeway junction. So now, if a deal can be done (remembering that the competition is the feckless Anaheim City Council majority) the new Irvine Republican regime might welcome a traffic-generating, carbon-spewing, parking-intensive, part-time hot dog-vending, tax- and fee-generating ball park that needs, like the adequate but aging Anaheim Stadium, nearly 15,000 parking spaces to host just 81 home games during the regular season, the majority of them at night. Except for the occasional revenue-generating tractor pull, motocross or monster truck fest (imagine this horde of tattoos and piercings dining at Bistango), the stadium would otherwise be vacant and silent over 75% of the time. And it would give Irvine’s useless iShuttle somewhere to go.
Angels owner Arte Moreno is going to go anywhere he can make the best deal — he’s proven no particular loyalty to Anaheim, and especially its ruling class. Years ago, Anaheim Mayor-for-Hire Curt Pringle spent over $7 million in city funds losing to Moreno when he changed the official name of the team (which seems to have had no effect on either party aside from enriching Pringle’s crony lawyers). CATER and the fortunate Angel Stadium Appraisal (engineered by Mayor Tom Tait) released on Friday should prevent Kris Murray and her fellow crooks on the Anaheim City Council from completing a sweetheart deal with Moreno, so the game’s on. Irvine’s timing is propitious.
Cunningham’s post which promised that the Angels “have nowhere to go” was quickly followed by a comment by Hugh Glenn that chronicled a lot of the history of NFL and MLB sports franchises since World War II:
The Arizona Cardinals moved from St. Louis to Arizona in 1988.
The Oakland Raiders moved from Los Angeles to Oakland in 1995.
The Los Angeles Rams moved from to Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995.
The Tennessee Titans moved from Houston to Tennessee in 1997.
The Baltimore Ravens moved from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1997.
The Kansas City Athletics moved to Oakland in 1968.
The Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970.
The Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers in 1972.
The Montreal Expos moved to Washington, DC and became the Nationals in 2005.
And perhaps Glenn’s not old enough to remember the greatest relocations of all in the late 1950s: the New York Giants to San Francisco, and of course the Brooklyn Dodgers to LA. I don’t recall the year, but the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta at some point during my misspent youth. So moving teams is not uncommon.
The Register had this profundity from Irvine’s Mayor this a.m.:
If the Angels come to Irvine, they’re going to have to lose the “Los Angeles” from their name. “I would not allow that kind of a confusing name,” Irvine Mayor Steven Choi said, laughing as he said it.
Good luck with that, Steven. If that’s all you can bring to a nine-figure negotiation, you’d better sit it out. The Reg also reported Councilwoman Shea’s past interest in a stadium:
“I’d be very excited to see a stadium in Irvine,” said Councilwoman Christina Shea, also the Great Park chairwoman. Years ago, Shea had sought a home for an NFL stadium where the Great Park is now.
Look for Irvine and the Angels to take this seriously. The city has a huge and unproductive lemon on their hands with the Great Park — an extremely valuable property asset that will produce nothing for them like a major league ball park would (or an international airport). Hypocrisy could reign, and the City Council’s excuse for giving the joint to Moreno will be “it’s only 81 days a year — the airport would have been 24/7/365″. Plus the monster trucks.