A group of more than 20 Anaheim business leaders are signing on to an open letter to the Angels, pledging their support for the team and appealing to owner Arte Moreno to keep the Angels in Anaheim. The letter, which will be published as a full-page newspaper ad, was organized by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. The OC Register published a story yesterday about the business leaders’ appeal:
The letter, written by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce and obtained Tuesday by the Register before it was sent to Moreno, asked the team to push for the same bargaining framework that was approved as a “starting point” when negotiations for a new lease at Angel Stadium began last September.
As bargaining dragged on, the team has since reached out to Tustin officials and the developers of the Great Park in Irvine to discuss possibly building a new stadium in those areas.
“The Angels are Anaheim’s team, which we gratefully and willingly share with all of Orange County and the rest of the Southland,” stated a draft of the letter circulated to the local business leaders.
“That is why we are so troubled by the breakdown in negotiations between the city and the Angels which has compelled you to look at other cities in Orange County and relocate the team,” the letter continued. “We want you to know that the destructive politics of City Hall that have driven you to this point do not reflect the will of the Anaheim community.”
The letter will be used as an advertisement appearing in an upcoming edition of the Register’s weekly Anaheim Bulletin, said Todd Ament, president and CEO of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. More than 20 business leaders will have signed it, he said, declining to name them.
Ament said that he believes that it’s “very urgent” to have city officials and Moreno hammer out a deal that is beneficial to both sides.
“We appreciate the support,” Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey said, adding that the team continues to “evaluate all of our options.”
You can read the rest of the article here.
Every bit helps. The prospects for successful negotiations with the Angels have been undermined by the guerrilla war waged against them since last September. While the purported purpose of this campaign is to obtain a “better” deal, the only real result has been to diminish the likelihood of the Angels staying – the worst possible deal. Loss of the Angels would be devastating for Anaheim, and not just in terms of losing the direct economic benefits of the team. This guerrilla campaign sends a negative message to the wider business community: if the mayor and allied interest groups are beating up on one of the city’s economic alpha dogs, businesses thinking of locating here would have to ask themselves if Anaheim is where they want to be.
Taken against how litigation and attack PR are being used to halt or delay key economic development projects sch as the GardenWalk hotels and the Anaheim Convention Center expansion, the worthy regulatory reform task force is weak sauce for enhancing Anaheim’s reputation for being “freedom friendly.”