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The LA Angels, Relocation to Downtown LA, and Opportunity PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 30 April 2012 14:25

In the midst of a battle that has raged for years now, it’s entirely possible that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim could wind up relocating before the A’s get into San Jose. In a report by Bill Shaikin of the LA Times over the weekend, the notion of the Angels relocating to downtown Los Angeles was broached.

AEG is the local expert at building and financing sports facilities. Several of the Dodgers bidders spoke with AEG about a possible new ballpark. Magic and Co. did not.

Arte Moreno apparently did. Moreno, the Angels' owner, and Angels Chairman Dennis Kuhl met this month with AEG President Tim Leiweke, a meeting first reported by the Daily News.

Neither AEG nor the Angels would discuss the meeting. Moreno was traveling and unavailable to discuss his stadium plans, Angels spokesman Tim Mead said.

Unlike the situation between the A’s and Giants, the Angels could freely relocate to downtown Los Angeles without any heel digging by the Dodgers. That’s because the Angels and Dodgers share the same physical territory under the MLB Constitution (specifically, Orange, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties).

But the larger question is, why? After all, Angel Stadium saw $118 million in renovations following the 1996 season when the Rams relocated to St. Louis.

What is likely occurring centers on opportunity. The Angels have an opt-out clause in their lease in 2016. If they don’t exercise the opt-out then, he has to wait till 2029, hence the conversation surfacing at this point. If owner Arte Morano were to look to get into a stadium in downtown LA, you’d have to start looking into the particulars,  now. As in all things, if there’s an opportunity available, you have to investigate it to the fullest and do your due-diligence. When it comes to landing ballpark funding, it’s not something that happens overnight.

But, once again, the question is, why leave Angel Stadium? Yes, it was renovated, but there are still some issues with the facility—the fourth oldest in MLB behind Dodger Stadium, Wrigley Field, and Fenway Park. In 2009, a sizeable piece of concrete fell from above the club level in Section 342. That was enough to have the Angels block off that section for Opening Day.

Still, the issue of whether you’re doing a fixer-upper or getting into a new stadium has to be discussed at some point. As Moreno said last year, at a certain point you have to start considering whether your upgrades are worth it.

"Cosmetically, the stadium looks great, but in the long term there are some structural issues that, over a period of time, we need to look at," Moreno said. "You build something 40 years ago, you put 40,000 fans in it every night, you wash it down every day, what's the building going to look like? It's like keeping up your home. Sometimes you have to put a new roof on it."

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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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