Hearing for preliminary injunction scheduled

Updated: January 18, 2005, 10:30 AM ET
Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- The city of Anaheim lost the first round Friday in its attempt to stop the Angels baseball team from adding "Los Angeles" to its name.

Superior Court Judge Peter Polos denied a temporary restraining order the city had sought against the team, which announced earlier this week that it would change its name to the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim."

The city filed a lawsuit against the team Wednesday alleging breach of contract and violation of good faith and fair dealing.

A hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction against the team was scheduled for Jan. 21.

"This is the first inning of a very long game," city spokesman John Nicoletti said. "We're encouraged by the fact that the judge does want to hear the case and scheduled a hearing so quickly."

Anaheim, which has provided nearly $30 million in public subsidies to renovate the club's ballpark, says the change hurts its ability to market itself as a tourist destination -- a key issue for 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.

Team spokesman Tim Mead was pleased with the judge's decision.

"Today's favorable ruling is part of the procedure, and we feel very confident in the case that has been prepared by our attorneys," he said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press