Kevin Hogan Good for Mayor Tait. He's got my support. A sports team threatening to move in order to extract more concessions from its host city is the oldest trick in the book, and he's the only one who's not falling for it hook, line, and sinker.
Keep the Angels Kevin - We welcome debate and discussion and your point of view is welcome. But the Mayor needs to provide facts. He has called the Angels deal the largest subsidy for a sports team in the history of the country and that is clearly not correct. There are tons of cities that have raised taxes and built teams new stadiums. None of that is happening here. He is opposed to everything and hasn't offered a plan to keep the Angels, just running around stirring everything up. That's not the leadership that Angels fans are looking for to keep the team here. The negotiating framework is clear. The Angels stay until 2057, they agree to pay $150 million to upgrade the stadium instead of the taxpayers, and they agree to help develop the parking lot like the City has always wanted.
Kevin Hogan This deal may not be raising my taxes *directly*, but it is unquestionably diverting money to Arte Moreno that would otherwise go into city coffers. For example, currently the city doesn't get a share of Angels ticket money until 2.6 million tickets have been sold in a season; the proposed deal would raise that threshhold even further, to 3 million tickets. And for that $150 million in improvements, the city is giving Moreno -- whether the Angels stay or not! -- unrestricted use of 155 acres of prime land, located in the middle of Orange County near the intersection of three major freeways, for SIXTY-SIX YEARS. Please don't disrespect the intelligence of the people of Anaheim by pretending that Moreno doesn't come out *way* ahead on that trade. I don't know if this is "the largest subsidy for a sports team in the history of the country", but it *IS* a huge subsidy, even if it doesn't come from raised taxes. Mayor Tait is right to question it, and I only wish that the other four would do the same.
Keep the Angels Kevin - Please don't disrespect the intelligence of the people of Anaheim by saying that you and the Mayor wish there was development in the stadium parking lot, and therefore, if the Angels make it finally make it happen, it is a subsidy. The City has been trying to get someone to develop the dining/entertainment/shopping district outside the stadium for almost 20 years and it hasn't happened. Now the Angels are saying they will do it, plow a portion of money they make off of that back into the city owned stadium to upgrade it so the taxpayers don;t have to, and the residents would get to enjoy those businesses and the City would benefit from the jobs and taxes on those new businesses. The Mayor somehow thinks that is a bad thing.
Kevin Hogan "Keep the Angels": If we are giving Arte Moreno something of great value (155 acres of well-situated, essentially vacant land) so that he can kick a pittance back to us in the form of stadium upkeep, then yes, he is getting a subsidy. We are giving him something more valuable than he is giving us in return. And you realize that the stadium lease MOU and the "Stadium District" ground lease MOU aren't linked, right? As things are currently written, the Angels could bug out of Anaheim as early as 2019, but Arte Moreno's investment group would *still* hold the lease to the land around the stadium for a minimum of sixty-six years. (2079!) It's the worst of all possible worlds -- the Angels are gone and the stadium is empty (thanks to the Council majority pushing the Angels opt-out date back from 2016 to 2019), but we don't have any money to pay for stadium renovations, because (thanks to the Council majority) we gave away the development rights to all of the land around the stadium for a dollar a year!
Keep the Angels Kevin, all you can do is offer wild speculation and contrived doom and gloom scenarios which ignore one simple fact that the land is valuable in large part because the stadium and baseball team. How else do you and your friend the mayor come up with these scenarios where the angels develop the parking lot and then take the team. Why would anyone do that? A chunk of the moon could also break off and hit the stadium too, so we better charge the angels for asteroid insurance. It's because of this irresponsible rhetoric that we wonder why the Mayor wants the negotiations to keep the angels to fail? The current deal protects the taxpayers, brings jobs and economic development to the city and keeps the angels. The Mayor needs to explain why he opposes that.
Kevin Hogan Spare me. You're the guys who are trying to whip up the "OMG THE ANGELS ARE LEAVING!!!1!" hysteria in order to up the pressure on the Council to accept this lousy deal. Pointing out that the MOUs are so poorly structured that they allow Arte to keep the money and run isn't "doom and gloom", it's responsible concern for the city I live in. I'm sure that *Moreno* hasn't overlooked this scenario; you don't get to be a billionaire by being stupid. I can hardly wait for the "Keep the Angels" rallies we'll be having in 2018; I wonder what we'll be promising them then, seeing as we will have already given the store away on this round.