Los Angeles supports Anaheim

Updated: January 20, 2005, 2:51 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Los Angeles doesn't want its name associated with the Angels.

The city of Los Angeles filed a brief Wednesday supporting Anaheim's lawsuit that claims the name Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim violates the team's stadium lease.

Los Angeles calls it "improper" for the Angels to use the name of a city in which they do not play or pay taxes. The brief says Orange County Superior Court "should reject the Angels' attempt to profit from the Los Angeles name they abandoned long ago."

"Los Angeles and its residents share a close bond with the city's major professional sports franchises. ... Those teams play at home stadiums located within the Los Angeles city limits," the brief said.

"The Angels are not a Los Angeles team and should not be identified as such," the brief added, calling the team's new name "misleading and confusing."

It's unclear whether Los Angeles' brief, which came without any formal authorization from the City Council, would have any relevance in court.

Last week, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said his team opposed the name change but wouldn't support Anaheim in court.

The Angels said the name change, announced earlier this month, is intended to increase fans, advertisers and broadcast contracts, by emphasizing the team's connection to the nation's second-largest media market.

When founded in 1961, the team was the Los Angeles Angels. It became the California Angels with the move to Anaheim in 1966 and then the Anaheim Angels in 1997.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press