Angels' owner testifies he didn't fully read lease terms

Updated: January 30, 2006, 7:14 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- The owner of the Angels testified Monday that he did not talk with the city of Anaheim while buying the team, did not read the stadium terms regarding the team's name and did not think the team's name was a factor in the deal.

In his second day of testimony, Arte Moreno continued to assert that he was allowed to call the team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim under the terms of a 1996 stadium lease agreement.

Attorneys for the Orange County city claim Moreno violated that contract and cost the city $100 million in tourism revenue and publicity when he officially changed the team's name in 2005 from Anaheim Angels.

Moreno bought the team from The Walt Disney Co. in 2003, but the city says he is bound by Disney's lease agreement with Anaheim.

Asked by Anaheim attorney Andrew Guilford if he was aware of "an emotional curtain that seems to divide" Los Angeles and Orange counties, Moreno replied, "I did not."

Asked if he knew that now, he said, "I guess so."

Guilford pressed Moreno on whether he had an obligation to people who had been fans of the Anaheim Angels for decades.

"Obviously if you don't take care of your fans, you won't have any fans," he said.

Moreno also testified that he did not talk to city officials before buying the team for $184 million.

Asked if he felt he had the right to do whatever he wanted with his team, Moreno said he realized he had to abide by the lease restrictions.

"If I only called the team name Los Angeles Angels, I think I would be violating the lease," he said.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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