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With Standoff Against The Angels, Anaheim Mayor Wants Angel Stadium To Be Appraised

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In what could be construed as a parting shot to the Los Angeles Angels baseball team or a way to prepare the new mayor and city council members, outgoing Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait has asked city staff to produce an appraisal report of the city-owned roughly 150-acre Angel Stadium.

Angel Stadium in Anaheim
Angel Stadium in Anaheim

In a 5-2 vote, the current city council Nov. 20 called for staff to seek an appraisal report of the stadium, just a month after the Angels terminated their stadium lease agreement and a couple of weeks before a new mayor and three new city council members take office.

"To help the future council negotiate any deal with our property, they need to know the value of that property," Tait told the city council on Nov. 20.

An Angels spokeswoman declined to comment, according to the OC Register.

The Angels exercised their out clause and terminated their stadium lease with the city in October. The team will continue to remain in Anaheim through the 2019 season.

Tait's request caps off a tumultuous feud between him and Angels owner Artie Moreno. 

The Angels for years have asked the city to pay for basic improvements to the 52-year-old city-owned Angel Stadium, the fourth-oldest baseball stadium in Major League Baseball

The stadium is in need of about $150M to $200M in renovations for basic infrastructure improvements but neither side is willing to pay for them.

Negotiations that began in 2013 between the city and the Angels on who should pay for the improvements have since been at an impasse. 

Anaheim Convention, Sports & Entertainment Department Executive Director Tom Morton told the council the last time the city prepared an appraisal was in 2014.

Morton said an appraiser estimated Angel Stadium and its surrounding parking lots were worth an estimated $225M to $245M if the team remained on the site. 

If the team left and if the site were sold to a developer, the land would be expected to fetch $300M to $325M. The land is entitled for 5,000 residential units and 3.1M SF each of commercial and office space.

Outgoing Councilwoman Kris Murray voted against the move, saying it is unfair for the old council to seek an appraisal when the city did not do the same thing with the owner of the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks owner, Henry Samueli, recently struck a deal with the city to buy and develop the parking lots surrounding the Honda Center. 

"I think it's important to allow the next council to negotiate in good faith with the team," Murray said. 

Tait said it is important to know what the property is worth before any type of negotiations.

"This is the largest real estate asset belonging to the city," Tait said. "To not have it appraised would be derelict of duty."