While the Chicken Little brigade runs around with their collective hair on fire about the Anaheim City Council’s approval of the MOUs outlining the Angels negotiation framework and extending the Angels’ opt-out date, clearer heads with eyes for the bigger picture understand this is a pathway to a win-win for all involved.
My friend Dan Chmielewski over at TheLIberalOC.com is one of those, and yesterday he published this very perceptive and rational post on the subject:
I’ve seen my share of typos regarding the Los Angeles “Angles” of Anaheim online and on Facebook that my choice of words in the headline is deliberate. As a baseball fan, I think we all need to take a breath here for a minute on the negotiations between the city of Anaheim and the Angels. Now exhale.
First off, the only reason that particular part of Anaheim (where the stadium is off the 57 freeway) is valuable (among the most valuable land in the County if not the nation…please) is because of a certain tenant, namely the Angels. Should they move, the value of that land simply drops. And with it, that valuable real estate becomes a big empty parking lot for most of the year. The Forum in Inglewood was valuable real estate too until the Lakers and Kings left. When was the last time you were there? And Staples is such a nice facility.
By giving Angels owner Arte Moreno the rights to the land surrounding Anaheim Stadium, the city council has effectively given him his new stadium location from which a new stadium can replace the aging Angels Stadium, relieve Anaheim of $130 to $150 million in renovation costs while creating a lot of union and non-union construction jobs. The city can then get out of the business of managing a stadium and start paying more attention to parks, business development and public safety. Consider how Yankee Stadium and Tropicana Field were constructed in the Bronx and in Houston alongside the Yankees and Astros previous baseball homes and you have an idea how a new Angels Stadium can rise quickly in the shadow of their aging park.
Arte’s big ticket free agents show he’s willing to spend money to create a winner. And while the result on the field isn’t what Angels fans want, you can’t fault the owner for going after the elite free agents (my opinion: time for a new manager).
I’ve read the out of breath posts in the Orange Juice Blog and in Save Anaheim; Leave it to Irvine’s Bill Shankin at the LA Times to summarize what the negotiations mean from the perspective of the Angels. From the story:
You can read the rest of Dan’s post here.
Critics of the MOUs can’t get past the $1 rent negotiation point to see the bigger of how a final deal can benefit Anaheim and the Angels (who, contrary to the claims of the usual suspects, have very definite options for re-locating out of Anaheim) and bring greater and long-lasting vitality to that part of Anaheim.