Mayor to OCBC: Willing To Let The Angels Leave Anaheim

anaheim_angelsWord has been spreading in OC political circles about comments Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait made a couple of weeks ago at a meeting with the Orange County Business Council’s executive board.

One subject that came up was negotiations with Angels. The opt-out for the Angels is in 2017, and the team would have to tell the city by 2016 if they are leaving.

According to sources who were present, Tait let it be known he would be willing to let the Angels leave rather than spend even a dime of taxpayer money to keep the team in Anaheim. The mayor also said that in his opinion, the Angels didn’t bring a lot of value to Anaheim.

Fortunately for those who want the Angels to stay in Anaheim, the other four members of the City Council don’t think it would do Anaheim taxpayers any favors to have a city-owned baseball stadium sit empty without a baseball team. They very much want to keep the baseball franchise that has called Anaheim home for 48 years.

Things are never dull in Anaheim.


  1. Matt – so now you’re writing articles based on rumors. Do you have a recording of the event to share with Mayor Tait’s comments in context? You based this entire article on what you heard second hand from sources who were present. Sources whom I am sure are associate with your giveaway pals.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Jason: do you have a reading comprehension problem? This isn’t my post. Try paying attention to the author bylines. Maybe it has whizzed passed your head, but there are other contributors to this blog.

      A little attention to detail goes a long way.

    • Good point – so if it’s not true, let’s have the Mayor dispute it publicly – how about he pledges his full support for the team and commits to robust negotiations this year as part of the State of the City scheduled next Tuesday. I plan to attend and look forward to his plans to grow rather than shrink Anaheim’s economy.

  2. If there is any truth to Tait’s comments, I am in complete agreement. Taxpayers don’t need to keep subsidizing the wealthy. The Angles owner is a multi-millionaire and he can pay his own way.

    Do you know how much the city gave away during the last renovation in terms of revenue? It is staggering to say the least. Corporate welfare needs to stop now.

  3. There is no byline. Do you have a reading comprehension problem? Why are you allowing people to post rumors on your site? Why do you allow people to post under aliases?

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Sigh. Stop being so paranoid, Jason. I didn’t add anything after-the-fact. For some reason the bylines only display on the blog home page. Once you click on the blog post headline and view just the post itself, there is no byline. That’s true of every post I don’t know why, but that’s the way this WP theme works.

      • Jason is a freak, Matt. You’ll never change his mind on anything. Just ignore him. Everyone else does.

        Mayor Tait is entitled to his point of view, same as anybody. I think he voted against the deal with the Angels back in 1996, so his current stance isn’t really a surprise.

  4. So now you ad the byline after the fact. I took a screen shot just in case you call me a liar.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Take a screen shot of every single post on this blog, while you’re at it, Jason. None of them have bylines in post-only mode, regardless of who the author is.

      Feel free anytime to admit your error, Jason.

  5. If it’s true, very sad to see the Mayor being so short-sided. But based on other comments he has made, they probably are true. I wonder if the Mayor knows the City of Anaheim owns the stadium? Why would he not want to invest and protect such a valuable asset as a professional sports stadium in the heart of Anaheim? Of course the city makes a ton of money off the Angels. So do the restaurants, hotels and other businesses that serve baseball fans. I am sure the City has paid a lot of money to do an economic impact analysis of the Angels. It would be great to see the analysis. But Mayor Tait’s “who cares” and bullying attitude will prevent him from seeing the facts. I hope you are right … and the other council members continue to protect our tax dollars by keeping the Angels and the tax revenue they generate for city.

    • ReasonableGuy2 – the city makes only 1-2 million off the stadium directly. Which is a ridiculously low return on the investment. All the while Angel owner Art Moreno makes record profits.

      During the last renovation in 1996 the City of Anaheim provided $20M in RDA/turned over parking, tickets, concessions and onsite advertising to fund improvements to the stadium.

      • Let’s remember, they (the City) funded improvements on a facility they (the City) own. The gross multiplier (in-direct) is far more substantial than the direct cash revenue the city receives. It’s sad that you don’t understand the most basic economic principles. When you were arrested and put in jail, you should have taken an economics class.

        • For the benefit of the Angels not the city. Angel Stadium should be contributing to the general fund substantial which it currently is not.

          Once again baseless accusations from someone hiding behind an alias.

          • You are such a fool. The City does indeed benefit greatly from the thousands of jobs, and millions of tax dollars that are generated from its stadium and having a baseball team play in Anaheim. Would you prefer that those taxes end and City residents be forced to make up the difference. Maybe you would, given that most taxes go to pay law enforcement and having been arrested you would welcome less cops on our streets. While you might now how to blog, you certainly are no financial genius.

            • More name calling and baseless accusations. You have no idea what you’re talking about and just make up facts out of thin air.

  6. [Comment deleted because the author is a mendacious, malicious twerp.]

  7. Jason Young with all of his various aliases and criminal background is not the voice of Anaheim. He may be funded and supported by Tait and the assorted and nefarious group of supporters he’s convened to attack the city on a consistent basis but the citizens of Anaheim don’t know who he is nor do they care. Jason – you moved to Fullerton so move on.

    • The only thing commentators on this blog (minus Biff) no how to do is make personal attacks. Nobody debates actual facts.

      Anaheim First – I only post under nojordanbrandman (default set by wordpress) or Jason Young. I also agree that body knows nor cares who I am. So why has Matt written 3 articles with me as the topic? What a waste of time.

      I have never received any funds from Mayor Tait. Also didn’t realized that The Voice of OC, OC Register, OC Weekly, OCCORD, and Los Amigos were nefarious groups. All of them support me btw.

      • Mr. Young, you have been the subject of this blog I suspect so that your criminal history could be highlighted for all of us that were unaware before these posts. Your criminal background is relevant given that you are running your mouth off all day attacking our city’s elected, community, and business leaders.

        • Voters Decided – more baseless accusations from someone hiding behind an alias who doesn’t debate the facts. You must be so proud.

          Jason Y.

    • More name calling and baseless accusations from AnaheimFirst. How bout debating the issues for once.

  8. Tait’s doing the right thing on this one. Again and again, studies have shown that cities’ choice to subsidize pro sports rarely makes economic sense.

    While refusing to spend “even a dime” of taxpayer money (if that’s actually what he said) is a little bombastic, it’s a given that Moreno will try to extract the most expensive and outrageous concessions that he can get from city leaders in 2016. If ‘keep the Angels at any price!’ is the stated position of the Council majority as we begin negotiations, I can only imagine how much we’ll have given away by the time those negotiations end.

  9. Everyone who contributed to Red County knows that Biff is Cynthia Ward. Seriously, Ms. Ward, given the amount of grief you dish out for people hiding behind aliases, why are you back under this one. If you think the people of Anaheim and Orange County will stand quiet while Tait tries to drive out the Angels, you are sorely mistaken. You are also sorely mistaken that there is no economic benefit to the city by having this world class team in our town. Does Supervisor Nelson know you are blogging against the team in some weak support position for Tait? I don’t think his consituents would appreciate one of his commissioners taking this stance.

    • What economic benefit? Do you have a study that shows an increase in TOT during games? That would be the only revenue worth talking about. Sales tax is minimal. The only person that truly benefits is the owner of the Angels.

    • Sorry, “Voters Decided”, but ‘everyone who contributed to Red County’ is wrong (but that’s pretty much a tautology, so no surprise there). If this blog records the IP addresses of commenters, Matthew or anyone else with administrative access is invited to compare the addresses associated with my comments to those of comments left by Cynthia or Jason.

      Rather, I’m a homeowner and a family man in his late 30s who grew up in Orange County and has been living in downtown Anaheim for the past nine years. And the more attention I’ve paid to our city government, the more frustrated and cynical I’ve become. The Pringle/Murray/OCBC/CoC bloc seems to believe that ‘a job is a job is a job’ — and that any action they take in the name of MORE JOBS NOW is the right thing to do. But to my mind, these subsidies have us paying top dollar for the very worst kind of low-wage, low-skill, zero-benefit jobs — and then have us paying AGAIN, because in focusing on these low-wage jobs, we’ve just filled our city with an underclass that’s dependent on social services to make ends meet. Declaring that there’s no price too high to keep the Angels around is yet another facet of this jobs-at-any-cost philosophy.

      Any responsible city leader should say that while we don’t want the Angels to leave Anaheim, he or she is willing to let it happen. Moreno is going to try to play our city for as much as he possibly can — in response, our city needs to put any rah-rah sentimentality aside and let him know there’s a limit. And again, multiple studies have shown that sports teams don’t bring anywhere near the level of economic benefit that boosters claim they do. Two economists who studied how pro sports strikes and lockouts affected local economies found there was virtually no effect — in a ‘substitution effect’, people simply spent the money that they were spending at the stadium on other forms of entertainment. Municipalities saved money, as they didn’t have to provide their usual gameday public safety response.

      (And it’s nice to know that Orange County would be upset if the Angels left, but I don’t recall ‘Orange County’ stepping up to replace the broken slide that sat for months in the park across the street from my house, or offering to replace laid-off librarians. Anyone outside of Anaheim who wants to complain that we’re not giving the Angels everything they want can hold a bake sale to make up the difference, or they can cram it. For a city with so many “economic engines” and “world-class” this and thats, why is it that we look so threadbare most of the time?)

      • Biff, I respect where Mayor Tait is coming from. The city should adopt a tough negotiating stance. Both sides will want to get as favorable a deal as they can. That is natural.

        But can you point to any example where the other four council members have said they’ll do anything to keep the Angels?

        Here’s where I’m a little worried: I’m detecting a vibe from the mayor of re-thinking whether Anaheim should be in the baseball “business,” hockey “business” or convention “business.” Maybe that perception is being influenced by what some of his defenders are saying. Hopefully, that is the case and the mayor and his colleagues are more united on these issues than they seem to be. That would be best for the city.

        • Abel: No, I can’t provide you with an example where any Council member has said they’d do anything to keep the Angels. On the other hand, we only have the word of Anaheim Insider’s “OC political circles” to substantiate Tait’s supposed “even a dime of taxpayer money” comment. So perhaps both sides are engaging in some projection, imagining that their favorite proxy on the Council will behave exactly in accordance with their beliefs.

          We do have a little bit of recent precedent in making predictions: how current Council members behaved when it looked like the Kings were coming to Anaheim. Everyone’s favorite tropes were taken out for a walk: the Kings were going to be a gigantic economic engine! The whole deal was going to involve municipal bonds, but there would be no risk to taxpayers! Murray was all for it then, and she seems to have doubled down in her enthusiasm for these kinds of deals since then. Tait was, if anything, the deal’s biggest cheerleader of all, but being bashed around by the Murray bloc seems to have tempered his feelings about subsidies.

          I guess we won’t know for sure how Tait feels until (gasp!) he actually says something in public.

  10. I am not Biff. I know who Biff is and I would give my left arm to be half as smart. Sorry. guess again. I post as Cynthia Ward, or sometimes the WordPress function grabs my computer and posts as ThinkOC. I write under my own name, I have nothing to hide. And I take my lumps for anything I have said or done. The flip side of that is I refuse to take lumps for what others have said or done. I am nobody’s Mommy, at least not here, my 4 kids don’t blog. I am not Biff, I am not Jason, so find something else to hate me for. On that note, I am sick to death of the rumors about Mayor Tait, so if Matt’s anonymous sock puppets want to post he said-she said pieces about the Mayor, the blog has sunk to a new low. How about an actual quote from the Mayor in a venue someone can prove beyond malicious gossip from a group that clearly had a personal ax to grind with him? The writer won’t give their own name, won’t give the name of the individual from OCBC claiming to have heard Tait say it, and we are supposed to drink the Kool aid?give me a break.

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