Anaheim lawsuit against Angels set to begin

Updated: January 11, 2006, 9:55 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A jury was seated Wednesday to decide a lawsuit pitting the city of Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Opening statements were to begin at 10 a.m. Friday in the civil trial that could take up to a month, attorneys said. The jury includes five men and seven women.

The city of Anaheim sued the Angels after their owner, Arte Moreno, abruptly changed the name of the team from the Anaheim Angels last January.

The city alleges the team breached a contract that promised the word "Anaheim" would be prominently displayed in the team name and on all team merchandise and advertising.

Moreno has said he changed the name to make the most of the Angels' location in the second-largest media market in the nation. He said using Los Angeles in the name would attract more sponsorships, advertising and broadcast contracts.

Attorneys for the city said Anaheim spent $20 million fixing up the stadium and leased valuable land to the team with the understanding the city would get international name recognition out of the deal.

The city wants the name change reversed and is seeking damages, arguing that lost income from the leased land and publicity the city would otherwise get each time the Angels play -- so-called "impressions" -- is worth at least $100 million.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press