From the OC Register (Save Anaheim comments in bold):
ANAHEIM – Over the past 16 fiscal years, Anaheim paid out slightly more for Angel Stadium than it received from the Angels, who use the city's ball park and the expansive parking lot that comes with it, city figures show.
For nine of the years, the city made money, and for seven, it paid more than it took in.
Angel Stadium and the city of Anaheim are in the midst of negotiating a contract extension.
Overall, the city of Anaheim has had a loss of $52,132 since a 1996 lease agreement took effect in fiscal year 1997-98 with the Angels, who not only play their games there but run the venue.
“So, basically, it's free rent,” said Mayor Tom Tait, who voted against the lease during his previous tenure on the City Council.
When that deal was struck with the Walt Disney Co., which owned the baseball team at the time, Disney agreed to pump $80 million into stadium renovations that in part were to reduce what would be paid during the lease. The city kicked in $20 million.
A recent Register article disclosed that city records show that the Angels have averaged paying the city about $1 million a year for Angel Stadium. But then it surfaced that the city actually has slightly higher stadium expenses than revenues.
The city, under the lease, must make payments – about $600,000 a year – to the Angels for building needs. The city also continues to pay off debt on a 1988 expansion, roughly $400,000 a year, for an exhibit hall in the stadium.
The expenditure figures were disclosed at the mayor's request before the Sept. 3 meeting when part of the Angels' contract was revised.
Along with Disney's $80 million, the 1996 lease called for the Angels to take over the day-to-day costs of stadium operations, relieving the city of that financial burden. Arte Moreno, when he bought the Angels from Disney in 2003, inherited the lease.
Councilwoman Kris Murray pointed out that the stadium does help the city's coffers.
A recent Economic Impact Study (the study was flawed as it did not study Anaheim but based it's findings on other cities), completed for the city, estimates that Anaheim reaped $3.6 million in tax revenues in 2012 from guests and visiting teams staying in hotels, eating hot dogs and buying Angels gear.
“It's a win for the city,” said Murray, who wasn't on the council when the 1996 lease was approved.
Former Mayor Tom Daly, now a state assemblyman, led the charge to approve that lease. He declined to comment for this story through a spokesman. So did Tim Mead, an Angels spokesman.
David Carter, a sports-business expert at USC, sees the $52,000 as an “irrelevant loss.” He said the city has received benefits from the lease with the upfront lease money and the elimination of stadium operating costs.
“The city has only lost a little bit of money, relative to what could have happened,” Carter said.
City-team stadium deals are wide-ranging in regard to ownership and the flow of cash. In San Diego, for example, the city owns 70 percent of 9-year-old Petco Park while the Padres, who play there, own 30 percent. They share costs.
Petco cost $474 million to build, not including interest and bond-financing expenses. An estimated $301 million in public money, much of it from the city, paid for the ball park.
In Anaheim, city officials hope to get more money out of Angel Stadium in the future.
Under a proposal the city and the Angels are eyeing, the city would get rid of the annual $600,000 to care for the stadium. In exchange, the city would receive less from game tickets. Anaheim's revenue comes from tickets, non-baseball events and parking when certain figures are reached.
Further, in 2021, that $400,000 the city pays for the stadium exhibition hall is set to end.
By then, based on 2012 attendance and the proposed new deal, the city would be in the black with the stadium for hundreds of thousands of dollars, said Tom Morton, Anaheim's executive director of conventions, sports and entertainment.
“The potential is that the city will be better off than it is currently,” Morton said.
Earlier this month, the City Council voted 4-1 to move forward on a lease proposal that could end up allowing the Angels to lease the stadium's parking lot for $1 a year. Tentatively, the Angels could develop part of the lot and use profits to cover upgrades to Angel Stadium that could come with a price tag of up to $150 million.
Tait, who dissented, said the city would lose out more if it leases the city-owned land for development.
“That (1996) deal was a bad financial deal,” Tait said. “This new one is even much worse.”
The upcoming negotiations will be over more than money.
During the 1996 negotiations, the council majority partly gave concessions so the team would be named the Anaheim Angels.
But Moreno, in 2005, changed that to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, adhering to a lease clause requiring “Anaheim” in the name. The city lost a lawsuit over the name change.
Now, Moreno wants the lease to let him remove “Anaheim” from the name.
Councilman Jordan Brandman, elected in 2010 (wrong date), is focused on a new deal that benefits the city and keeps the team in town – a team that to him would always have a local ring.
“They believed they were making the best deal in the interest of the city and getting the team renamed Anaheim,” the councilman said of his predecessors. “And that's not on the table anymore. They will be the Angels of Anaheim as long as they are in the city of Anaheim.”