Arte Moreno says Los Angeles Angels will stay in Anaheim until 2029

Mar 9, 2016; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno (L) talks to manager Mike Scioscia (14) before a spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2016; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno (L) talks to manager Mike Scioscia (14) before a spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

The speculation about the future of Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim has been in question over the past couple of seasons.  Angels owner Arte Moreno & the city of Anaheim have been at odds and have not seriously spoken since 2015.

The contention has been that the Los Angeles Angels keep the Anaheim in the team name which is part of the lease renewal the Angels agreed to back in the late 90’s.  The city of Anaheim agreed to pay for the major renovations of the stadium that took place from 1996 to 1998 that changed the stadium back into a baseball only park.

When Arte Moreno bought the team in 2003 he talked about changing the team name to the Los Angeles Angels in order to increase revenue by helping market the team on a larger scale.  This was met by major opposition from the city and also many Angels fans as well.  The city filed a lawsuit to keep the Anaheim in the team’s name.

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Moreno’s compromised was to call the team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Many hated this even more, but it allowed Moreno to have his cake and eat it too by keeping the Anaheim in the name to meet the terms of the lease, while also adding the Los Angeles to the team name.

So flash forward to 10 years later when Moreno and the city Anaheim started talking about some much needed renovations to the stadium.  Moreno said he would pay for all the renovations if the city would allow him to drop the Anaheim from the team name.  The city of Anaheim officials said no and that’s where the talks broke off.

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Moreno then decided to start looking for potential sites that would allow him to build a new stadium and name the team the Los Angeles Angels.  The city of Anaheim also looked at possible stadium uses or land uses in case the Angels moved out of Anaheim, including turning the land into a giant parking structure for the Disney District.

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However, on Saturday Moreno announced that he would keep the team in Anaheim at least through the 2029 season which ended speculations of the Angels possible relocation. In addition Moreno said that he will pay for yearly upgrades to the ball park to make it more modernized with a price tag of $40 million dollars.

During this off-season Moreno has already put in new stadium lights, improved concourse lighting as well as upgrading the suites and the visitors’ clubhouse.

.”It’s going to take some time to get ourselves prepared to see what direction we’re going to go,” Moreno said about the possibility of the team moving, in an ESPN.Com interview. “We have flexibility, but acquiring land and getting a proper partner and getting prepared in California is a three-, four-year process.”

As far as improving the team on the field Moreno said that he is pleased with the upgrades that general manager Billy Eppler has made in the past couple of seasons, which includes improving a decimated farm-system. However, he said the Angels are now in the financial position to make a run at some bigger free agents like he did in the first 10 years of his tenure as owner.

“We really looked hard at 2016 and 2017 and felt we would start to open up more economic flexibility in 17′, 18-plus,” Moreno said. “If our people feel it’s a player who fits, that’s what we are going to do. We’re going to try to win. We will look at what’s going on the market this year and what may help us in the short-term, and obviously how we’re playing.”

This is encouraging news on all fronts for the Angels and their fans.  Many have felt that the Angels would loosen up their purse strings with the contracts of C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver coming off the books after last season.  Furthermore Josh Hamilton‘s horrible contract will be a distant memory after this season.

Couple this with the Angels hopefully getting back pitchers Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano at the beginning of next season the Angels seemed to be targeting next season to make a run. However, with the improvements that general manager Billy Eppler made this off-season at second base and in left field, the Angels could contend for a playoff spot this season.

Next: Jered Weaver Era is finished in Anaheim

We will see what happens this season and in the next few seasons, but here is one person who is happy to know that the Angels will be in Anaheim for at least the foreseeable future.