Report: Selig OKs 'Los Angeles' Angels
LOS ANGELES -- The city of Anaheim will resist any attempt by the Angels to change their name to the Los Angeles Angels.
The franchise began play as the Los Angeles Angels in 1961, became the California Angels when it moved to Anaheim in 1966 and has been the Anaheim Angels since 1997, after the team negotiated a 30-year lease with Anaheim.
"We're pretty fired up. We want the Angels to understand this is very important to us," Anaheim city manager Dave Morgan told The Associated Press on Monday. "They won the world championship as the Anaheim Angels two years ago and should remain the Anaheim Angels. The mayor and City Council of Anaheim are very clear and unambiguous that we will do whatever we need to do legally to enforce the lease we have with the Anaheim Angels."
The possibility of a name change was first reported in July. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times quoted an unidentified high-ranking baseball official as saying baseball commissioner Bud Selig has given permission to Angels owner Arte Moreno to rename the team.
Angels president Dennis Kuhl declined comment Monday.
"It's important to say the Angels publicly and privately have never told us they're intending to make this change. We only hear rumors to that effect," Morgan said. "I'm sending a letter to Bud Selig today expressing my concerns. I'm telling him that if in fact that's where he is, I'm asking him to reconsider.
"This isn't strictly a matter of civic pride, although that's also very important to us. When this lease was negotiated, the city made major contributions as part of the negotiations to the renovation of the stadium, anywhere from $20 million to $30 million. We also significantly adjusted our revenue-sharing downward as part of this deal and agreed to some significant limitations on our development ability around the stadium itself."
Morgan said Selig attended the City Council meeting where the lease agreement was approved by a 3-2 vote.
The name "Anaheim" was removed from uniforms, schedules and advertisements last season and isn't on news releases issued by the team.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press