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Santana: Anaheim Stadium Deal Goes Easy on Angels, Hard on Taxpayers

It should come as no surprise that after a short, private meeting between Anaheim’s new Mayor Harry Sidhu and Angels’ owner Arte Moreno earlier this month, that there’s a rush this Tuesday for city council members to approve a new, short-term lease for a team that just told city leaders it wants to leave.

The first chapter of every lease negotiation between the City of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Angels always seems to involve local taxpayers immediately giving up a valuable negotiation point.

In exchange for goodwill…

Note, this is a team that’s already renamed itself for Los Angeles.

And they’ve already opted out of their current city lease.

Ironically, the Angels’ ability to press now for new lease terms comes from a trigger extension granted to them by a friendly city council back in 2013, when their original lease was scheduled to enter a term favoring taxpayers.

The minute that happened, the Angels wanted a new lease.

Over my career in journalism, I’ve seen this situation play out countless times.

I led the stadium coverage of the Chargers requests for a new facility when I worked as a staff writer for the San Diego Union Tribune in the early 2000s.

Nothing the Chargers proposed ever penciled out for public benefit and unlike the Padres – who did gain public support – they eventually left, for Los Angeles.

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