This article ran in the OC Register last week while i was out of town, and I think it is worth posting here in the interests of informed debate as the Angels and the city engage in lease negotiations:
For the past 16 years, the city has collected an average of $1 million a year from Angel Stadium.
Recently, Anaheim and the ball club that has called the city home for nearly 50 years began negotiations on the stadium lease that runs through 2029 unless the Angels trigger an escape clause in three years. Since March, the City Council has held closed-session meetings on the lease.
“The city of Anaheim and Angels Baseball have entered into discussions relating to the current lease agreement,” said John Carpino, the club’s president, in a prepared statement. “These discussions, which are in the early stages, are focused on maintaining a high-quality fan experience for many years to come.”
The Angels aren’t expected to leave the city. But the negotiations open up the possibility for the Angels and the city to come up with new terms. One topic that is on deck: Basic renovations, estimated at up to $150 million over the next decade or so, on the stadium built in 1966 for $24 million.
With this backdrop, the Anaheim Bulletin thought it was a good time to show Anaheim residents the financial deal between the city and the Angels for use of the stadium. Bulletin reporters read the 78-page contract and talked with city and Angels officials.
Under the current 1996 lease, the Angels care for the building and oversee its operations.
The city can make money from the stadium in three ways:
•Attendance: The city receives $2 for each Angels ticket to home games after 2.6 million; making the playoffs helps by adding games and attendance. Last year, nearly 3 million fans came to the stadium.
From 1997 until the Angels won the World Series in 2002, the city received no ticket money. Since then, Anaheim has regularly taken in at least $1 million annually, peaking at $2.2 million in 2005-06.
•Parking: A 25 percent cut of parking money goes to the city after the Angels reach a certain amount, based on inflation. The city has received parking funds 10 of the last 16 years, from $7,388 to $372,453 in those profit-sharing years.
Last year, parking didn’t hit the needed $6 million threshold, so the city received nothing.
•Other events: When the Angels book other stadium events, the city gets 25 percent of the revenue when the stadium reaches a set limit; for example, that mark was $3 million for all of 2012.
The stadium has surpassed the amount four times, usually when major concerts were held. Back-to-back U2 shows in 2011 meant $244,561 for the city’s coffers.
Although they took off for St. Louis after the 1994 season, the Rams actually pay the city more than the Angels for the stadium. The football team pays $2.4 million annually to cover the debt of an Angel Stadium expansion project. The Rams will pay off that debt in two years.
You can read the entire article here.
Peanuts. Considering the footprint of this facility, the traffic impact, and the millions of people it draws, you’d think the city’s share would be much higher. Somebody made a bad deal.