Arte Moreno and family announced that a Los Angeles Angels sale is possible, as the team evaluates strategic alternatives for the American League MLB franchise.
“It has been a great honor and privilege to own the Angels for 20 seasons,” Moreno said via press statement. “As an organization, we have worked to provide our fans an affordable and family-friendly ballpark experience while fielding competitive lineups which included some of the game’s all-time greatest players.”
“Although this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a great deal of thoughtful consideration, my family and I have ultimately come to the conclusion that now is the time. Throughout this process, we will continue to run the franchise in the best interest of our fans, employees, players, and business partners.”
The Angels have retained Galatioto Sports Partners as financial advisors for the evaluation process.
The move comes after a bruising battle for control of Angel Stadium and the surrounding land, which ended after an FBI investigation of the sale to SRB Management–controlled by Moreno and other investors–followed by the resignation of Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu. The FBI investigation yielded allegations that Sidhu had leaked confidential information to the Angels during negotiations and was pursuing a deal in hopes of a million-dollar campaign contribution from the Angels. (It’s important to note Sidhu has not been changed with any violations of the law.)
Without the Angels being directly implicated in any wrongdoing, the assumption was that Moreno and crew would make another run at buying the ballpark and developing a mixed-use area surrounding the area. However, yesterday a grand jury investigating the sale released criticism of the deal, with some business leaders and politicos increasing their own criticism of the sale.
Moreno purchased the Angels for $180 million from the Walt Disney Company in 2003. Insiders anticipated a potential sale meeting or exceeding $2.4 billion, the purchase price for the New York Mets by Steve Cohen: the team has a lucrative broadcast deal, and while Angel Stadium presents some challenges, the Anaheim market is strong enough for a buyer to purchase the team and work on a ballpark renovation sans any mixed-use development.
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