Anaheim wants guarantee name won't change

Updated: November 17, 2004, 12:44 PM ET
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- City officials sent letters to the Anaheim Angels and Major League Baseball on Tuesday asking whether a possible name change has already been provisionally approved.

The letter from the City Council also seeks assurances from the team and league that the name will not be changed, and comes after the council again threatened to sue if the team changes its name from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels.

A name change would break the terms of the team's 33-year lease with the city, according to city officials.

"A deal is a deal. We continue to be strongly united on insisting that the Anaheim Angels comply with the terms of the lease," Mayor Curt Pringle said in a statement. "We hope that the Angels or Major League Baseball will end this speculative inquiry about the name change immediately."

The franchise began play as the Los Angeles Angels in 1961. It became the California Angels upon moving to Anaheim in 1966, and has been the Anaheim Angels since 1997.

The possibility of a name change was first reported in July. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times quoted an unidentified high-ranking baseball official as saying baseball commissioner Bud Selig had given permission to Angels owner Arte Moreno to rename the team.

The Angels drew 3,375,677 last season -- third-highest total in baseball behind the Yankees and Dodgers.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press