For a couple of years now the Angels and the City of Anaheim have been in talks about Angel Stadium and where the team will play when its lease (and its various extensions and options and whatever) finally expire.
Most of these negotiations have seemed to be amicable. An election changed the dynamic of the talks once, shifting things from a generally pro-team administration to a “hey, if you wanna move, you can move” administration. And on a couple of occasions the Angels have bluffed about moving to, say, Long Beach or the Inland Empire or something. But even if there has never been a sense that the local government was going to build the Angels a new ballpark or foot the bill for massive renovations to the existing one, there has likewise never been a sense that the Angels were seriously entertaining leaving Anaheim.
And now they aren’t. Bill Shaikin from the Los Angeles Times reports:
The Angels and the city agreed Wednesday on a deal under which a company affiliated with Angels owner Arte Moreno would buy Angel Stadium and the surrounding property for $325 million. The city would not contribute to the cost of either renovating the stadium or building a new one, and the Angels would decide whether to upgrade or replace the current stadium.
Under the deal, the Angels are committed to playing in Anaheim through 2050, with options that could keep them there through 2065.
As we’ve noted here many, many times in the past, Major League Baseball teams are increasingly in the real estate business. The Angels — or, at the very least, their owner — is now part of that club, with an eye toward a new or renovated ballpark and, more importantly, a large chunk of California real estate surrounding it in order to realize additional revenue streams.
Revenue streams, it should be added, that players aren’t going to get a cut of in all likelihood. Sure, Arte Moreno has made millions and millions on the Angels, he is now using some of those millions to buy his ballpark and the land around it, and he will make millions off of that land from people who are coming there to either see a baseball game or live near a baseball stadium, but those future millions will be classified as non-baseball revenue.
It’s a pretty sweet operation if you happen to own a baseball team.