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Copyright 2014 Orange County Register
All Rights Reserved
Orange County Register (California)
BY ART MARROQUIN, STAFF WRITER

Mayor Tom Tait is calling for the public release of a report that details $150 million in needed upgrades at Angel Stadium that are a cornerstone of lease negotiations between the city and the baseball team.

City Attorney Michael Houston has denied media requests to examine the report, saying it is in draft form and may be considered privileged information concerning Anaheim's ongoing bargaining with the Angels. Officials did not say when the report would be completed.

"It is not abnormal for a report such as this to be still in draft form given the size and sophistication of a facility like Angel Stadium of Anaheim," Houston said in a statement. "Due to the detail of the contemplated transaction, such a report can take time to develop and finalize as negotiations proceed."

The Angels and the city agreed last summer to split the cost of the $135,000 report, which is being handled by an outside firm and examines the architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical needs of the ballpark.

In September, the City Council reopened lease negotiations with the Angels and began discussing a package of negotiating points, including one that would allow team owner Arte Moreno's development firm to lease the parking lots for $1 annually over 66 years. City and team officials have said that revenue generated by the development would go toward making the Angel Stadium improvements.

Tait, who voted last year against reopening the lease, said he believes the existing contract, due to expire in 2029, requires the Angels solely to pay for any stadium-maintenance upgrades.

"If this report is a basis for negotiations, even in draft form, then I think the people have a right to see it," Tait said.

Councilwoman Kris Murray declined to comment. Councilwoman Gail Eastman said that she was not concerned at this time about the study's release, because her attention is focused on the upcoming city budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce has continued an aggressive campaign dubbed "Keep the Angels" with a website and a series of full-page advertisements in the Register's weekly Anaheim Bulletin. It gathered signatures from 40 Orange County business leaders for an open letter urging Moreno to stay in Anaheim. Team officials have said that they are keeping all of their options open, including possibly moving the Angels to Tustin, Irvine or another Southern California city.

 

June 13, 2014

 

 
 

 

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