What if the Angels, a team that has been based in Anaheim since 1966, suddenly found itself based in Tustin? After moving from Los Angeles to Anaheim almost forty years ago, the team still continues to thrive. The Angels have proven that they know how to survive a move. Now, the LA Times reports that the Angels may move again. The Angels have been meeting with the Tustin City Council to discuss the possibility of moving the team to Tustin .
Perhaps a better question for the residents of Anaheim would be: What if Anaheim suddenly found itself without the Angels? On September 26th, the Angels stopped negotiations with the Anaheim City Council for a new lease of Angel Stadium. That doesn’t mean the Angels are leaving Anaheim. That just means they rejected the most recent deal proposed for their new lease and will not discuss the deal any further. If they did leave, the city of Anaheim would not go under over the loss of the Angels. But that is one less attraction to add to the vibrancy and culture of Anaheim.
According to the LA Times, the Angels have been exploring the option of relocating the team elsewhere for financial reasons that couldn’t be resolved in negotiations with the Anaheim City Council. Lucille Kring, a City Council member in Anaheim, was reported in the LA Times as saying, “Mayor Tait seems bent on driving the Angels out in order to demolish the stadium and make a quick buck on more generic development. I wonder if the residents of Brooklyn are glad that they have high-density apartments instead of Ebbets Field and the Dodgers.” That is a genuine piece of food for thought. What if the Angels were to leave Anaheim, their stadium demolished, and the sudden new space filled with…apartments? What could possibly take the place of Angel Stadium that would add to the cultural allure of Anaheim? There is already one Disneyland, and there is no need for a second. The Ducks already have their hockey rink.
The Ducks and the Angels are linked to Disney, which has had a connection to Anaheim since Disneyland opened in the ‘50s. The Ducks are named after the hockey team in the Disney franchise “The Mighty Ducks.” The Angels can be linked to the Disney film “Angels in the Outfield.” It wouldn’t feel right to have either team move to another city. Disney is in the culture of Anaheim, and the two sports teams are part of that culture.
Councilwoman Kring brings up a good point. The question for the people of Anaheim, and Angels’ fans, will not be about what would become of the Angels if they were to move. It will be: What would Anaheim be like without the Angels? If the Angels do leave, then there had better be some very impressive apartments replacing their stadium.