Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said he’s happy that the Angels terminated negotiations on Friday over a new stadium lease because it offers an opportunity to renew talks without some of the perks already promised the baseball team.

Tait has been on the losing end of several votes regarding the negotiations, including one that now gives the Angels until 2019 to move, instead of the prior agreement that would have meant the team would have had to find a new home by 2016. Giving the team more time to move weakened the city’s leverage.

“It would have been almost impossible for them to leave before 2016,” Tait told City News Service. “Now they have more time, which doesn’t help.”

Tait said he “strongly opposed” agreements that removed Anaheim from the team name and “gave away 150 acres (of land around the stadium) for a dollar a year for at least 66 years.”

The mayor added, “Neither one of those were in the best interests of the people of Anaheim, so I think it’s a very good thing that the Angels are canceling those (agreements). It gives us a chance at a fresh start in negotiations to come to a deal that is fair to both the Angels and certainly to the people of Anaheim.”

As for speculation the Angels may take another look at moving to Tustin, Tait doesn’t think it’s practical.

“I don’t see any other city willing to give away 150 acres and build a stadium on it,” Tait said.

No other city can compete with Anaheim’s location either, he said.

“Like most real estate decisions, it’s location, location, location, and we have the best by far,” Tait said, noting the stadium stands where “three freeways come together in the heart of Orange County.”

Staying put has other advantages, Tait said.

“The infrastructure is already set for the stadium, the roads can handle the traffic and the water and sewer and all of that stuff, and all that stuff is very expensive for a new city to come in and do,” Tait said.

The mayor has proposed that the city would partner with the Angels to develop the parking lot and split the profits evenly. The city would then build a new parking structure.

The Tustin City Council is poised to hold a special, closed-door meeting Tuesday night to discuss a bid to lure the Angels there, the Orange County Register reported.

City News Service

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