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OC Register: Angels plan to opt out of Anaheim stadium lease – opening the door for the team to possibly move


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The Angels will play in Anaheim through the 2019 season, but after that, the team could make plans to leave its longtime home.

Angels officials have formally notified the city they are exercising an option to cancel their lease, which included an opt-out clause that expires Tuesday, Oct. 16, team spokeswoman Marie Garvey said.

The move doesn’t mean the Angels will definitely leave. Team officials will meet with the new mayor and City Council after the Nov. 6 election to discuss the future, Garvey said. The city owns the 45,000-seat stadium, where the Angels have played for more than 50 years. If the opt-out deadline had passed, the team would have been locked into the lease through late 2029, Garvey said.

“As we look to the future, we need the ability to continue to deliver a high-quality fan experience beyond what the original lease allows,” club president John Carpino said in a written statement. “It is important that we look at all our options and how we can best serve our fans now and in the future.”

“We do have options” for where the team could play long-term, she said, but would not elaborate on where executives might be looking.

Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster said in a statement that city leaders “don’t believe there is a better place for the team” than Anaheim.

“As fun as baseball is in Anaheim, this is a reminder that this is still a business. And we understand that the Angels need to preserve all options available,” Lyster said.

“We welcome talking with the team about the future of baseball in Anaheim.”

What it would take to keep the team in town has been the subject of discussion for several years.

In 2013, Angels and city officials attempted to negotiate a new lease. When the two sides couldn’t reach agreement, the team continued exploring a move to the former Marine base in Tustin, but determined it would cost too much to build a new stadium.

By 2016, the Angels were talking with Anaheim again, but those efforts also made little progress.

If the team does look for greener pastures, it’s unlikely they’d go far. Garvey said the Angels’ contract with Major League Baseball gives them rights to play in parts of Southern California, but they couldn’t simply move out of state.

As the news broke, some fans speculated on social media that Anaheim’s recent battles with Disney and some city leaders’ opposition to tax incentives for business had set the table for Angels’ lease announcement, but Garvey said that’s not the case and pointed again to the deadline.

This is contractual,” she said. “It wasn’t political.”

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"Opening the door for the team to possibly move"

Technically correct but there really is no chance the Angels leave the immediate area.  It is a proven market with a reliable fanbase with excellent demographics.

They either stay in that stadium, they get a new one built in the parking lot, or they get a new one within like 10 miles of where they are now, like Tustin.

They are not moving to Los Angeles or anywhere else.

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