LA Times: Angels end stadium negotiations with Anaheim; Tustin on deck?

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The Angels end negotiations with Anaheim over a new Angel Stadium lease. Could a move to Tustin be next? 

The Angels on Friday ended negotiations with the city of Anaheim over a new Angel Stadium lease, frustrated by the inability to finalize a deal more than a year after the parties had ratified the framework of an agreement.

The Angels have held extensive discussions with the city of Tustin about a possible new ballpark there. The Tustin City Council scheduled a special closed session Tuesday to discuss a deal with the Angels.

Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey said the team has not reached an agreement with Tustin and would continue to look at “all of our options.” Tustin City Manager Jeffrey Parker said his city has not agreed on a deal with the Angels, or even the framework of one.

“It’s just in the talking stage,” Parker said.

The Tustin City Council has held at least nine previous closed sessions to discuss an Angels deal – but all of them, unlike the one scheduled Tuesday, preceded a regular council meeting. It is unlikely that Tustin – or any other city in Southern California – would use taxpayer money to build a stadium for the Angels.

“We can afford to build a new stadium,” Angels owner Arte Moreno said.

It is obvious that Arte pulled this publicity stunt right before the playoffs for he wants every young baseball fan to cry to their parents right before the playoffs.

In 2011, Fox Sports agreed to pay the Angels close to $3 billion for long-term television rights, and grant them an ownership stake in Fox Sports West. The Angels could leverage that cash and/or that ownership stake to help pay for a new ballpark, and Moreno could consider taking on development partners. Moreno told The Times that he makes money on the Angels and carries no debt on the team.

On Friday, the Angels notified the city of Anaheim that the team “is hereby electing to terminate” its deal framework “and negotiations pursuant to it,” effective in 30 days. Garvey said the team is walking away from the particular deal, not necessarily from the city of Anaheim.

“It’s been over a year,” Moreno said. “We’ve gone backwards. We haven’t accomplished anything.”

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