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The Angels (of Anaheim) Are Considering a Move to the Long Beach Waterfront

8:55 AM PST on February 26, 2019

    [dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]he Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have made overtures into a protected 13-acre lot on the Long Beach waterfront, a move that would place the 2002 World Series champions in L.A. County for the first time since 1965, according to a report by the Long Beach Post.

    Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia confirmed to the Associated Press late Monday that they were in preliminary talks.

    The Post cites "several sources familiar with the discussions" who say Arte Moreno's team is in preliminary talks with the city about the possibility of moving the franchise to the empty lot near the Long Beach Arena and Performing Arts Center.

    Because the waterfront property is considered part of the protected tidelands, any deal would require state approval. The Post also notes that Long Beach has several commitments on the property including the 2028 Olympics, scheduled to take place all over parts of L.A. County.

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    Moreno has been itching for a bigger slice of the L.A. market since 2005 when he began a 4-year-long battle to change the team's name from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels. Anaheim sued Moreno for the name change citing a clause in the contract that said "Anaheim" must be officially part of the team's name. To get around this, Moreno called them the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim." The Angles started playing under the L.A. moniker officially in 2007, after winning several appeals, but the city didn't drop its lawsuit until 2009.

    Now the two sides are battling over a lease renewal. The Angels opted out of their lease last year but signed a one-year deal to remain in Anaheim through 2020.

    Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu released a statement Monday night saying the city is “confident that the best place for the Angels is and always will be Anaheim.”

    Though there are fans all over the Southland, the core Angels fanbase still lives in Orange County. Long Beach would represent a step into big Dodgers territory though it would not be the team's first stand in Los Angeles.

    Via Wikicommons.

    The Angels played their first games in L.A. In 1961, Gene Autry bought the rights to the team name from then Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley, who had owned a minor league team with the same name, and started the Los Angeles Angels as an expansion team playing in the old Wrigley Field, originally located in the Historic South Central neighborhood of South Los Angeles.

    The Angels played there for a year before moving to Dodger Stadium in 1962. To avoid calling it Dodger Stadium for their home games, the Angels referred to it as Chavez Ravine, the geographical location of the ballpark. In 1966, the team moved to Anaheim as the California Angels.

    In 1997, Disney bought the team and renovated the stadium partially using funds from the city under the condition that the stadium and the team name contain "Anaheim" in the title. That's when the Anaheim Angels were born. They won the World Series as the Anaheim Angels in seven games denying Barry Bonds and the hated San Francisco Giants the title.

    RELATED: A Foul Ball Killed a Fan at Dodger Stadium Last Year and the Dodgers Said Nothing About It

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