Judge expected to rule on request Friday

Updated: January 5, 2005, 8:44 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- The city of Anaheim asked a judge to block the Angels from adding Los Angeles to their name.

The complaint filed Wednesday in Orange County Superior Court asked for a temporary restraining order against the use of the name "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim." City spokesman John Nicoletti said a judge was expected to rule on the request Friday.

Anaheim officials claim the name violates a stadium lease agreement that has provided nearly $30 million in public subsidies to renovate the club's ballpark.

Anaheim argues that the change hurts its ability to market itself as a tourist destination -- a key issue in a city that depends on a hotel room tax as its largest source of income.

The Angels said the name change, which was announced Monday, is intended to attract more fans and advertisers, and eventually more lucrative broadcast contracts, by emphasizing the team's connection to the nation's second-largest media market.

Club officials have said they believe the name change is legal and is necessary to generate more revenue for a club with the third-highest payroll in Major League Baseball.

Last year, the Angels eliminated "Anaheim" from their uniforms, advertisements and media guides -- sparking speculation that a name change was in the works.

This would be the fourth time the franchise has changed its name. It was known as the Los Angeles Angels when it started in 1961 and became the California Angels when the team moved from Los Angeles to Anaheim in 1966.

The club has been known as the Anaheim Angels since the 1997 season.

Arte Moreno bought the team in 2003, a year after it won the World Series, and became popular with fans by paying for high-priced talent while lowering beer and ticket prices. The Angels rank 23rd in average ticket prices and have the third-highest attendance total in baseball, behind the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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