Two State Lawmakers Call For Delay of Angel Stadium Land Sale

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Angel Stadium overlooking the freeway.

Two state lawmakers joined the criticism of the proposed Angel Stadium land sale agreement Thursday, sending a letter to Anaheim City Council members urging them to delay a vote and get more details on the sale. 

Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), a former mayor, and Sen. Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) criticized the deal for its lack of details on community benefits and other agreements that could lower the proposed $325 million starting price tag. 

“We have heard from many citizens concerned that the proposed sale price – and rumored credits on the ultimate purchase price – may not be in the best interest of the taxpayers of Anaheim. Without knowing the final terms and conditions of the eventual sale, including the role the City will play in shaping the development of the land, how can the taxpayers of Anaheim know if the proposed sale achieves the maximum financial value for the City?” wrote Daly and Umberg. 

The two also took issue with the stadium’s appraised value, which ranges from $300 million to $320 million. 

“Understanding the maximum appraisal for the property was approximately $500 million, how can the city calculate the final return from the sale without the ultimate details of land development and community benefits?” the lawmakers wrote. 

Daly, along with former Mayor Tom Tait, wrote an opinion article on Voice of OC Tuesday criticizing the proposed land sale

“Crucial information about this real estate deal is missing, and what little has been made public appears stunningly one sided against Anaheim taxpayers,” the former mayors wrote. 

The Orange County Register’s editorial board also criticized the stadium proposal for its lack of details in an op-ed published Wednesday. 

“This is Anaheim’s largest real-estate asset, so the council’s decision will create a blueprint for the city’s financial future. Such a big decision requires a thorough public vetting — and the release of detailed information. The buyers — a partnership including Angels owner Arte Moreno — should also disclose the names of all the partners,” wrote the editorial board. 

The Register’s noted business columnist Jonathon Lansner also criticized the sale proposal for its lack of a market-rate approach in his Wednesday column because Anaheim didn’t shop around.

“Heck, maybe playing hardball would have compelled Moreno to offer more. Even the city’s own appraiser said the sales price would have been higher – if there was no stadium required for the property.” Lansner wrote.

Spencer Custodio is a Voice of OC staff reporter. You can reach him at scustodio@voiceofoc.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerCustodio.