When Arte Moreno officially changed the name of his team to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the world chuckled ... but the city of Anaheim cried foul.
If you recall, Moreno hoped the name change would help his efforts to better market the team to the rest of Southern California while at the same time honoring a requirement in his lease for the city-owned stadium stating that "Anaheim" remain in the team's name.
The city, however, didn't appreciate the change, and actually filed a lawsuit in 2006, and then after losing that, an appeal, which wasn't officially resolved until this past December. The final verdict? Once again, in favor of the team.
With no other options, the city has finally thrown in the towel. From Eric Carpenter of the Orange County Register:
"We're all very disappointed with this," Pringle said after the meeting. "We believe that the wrong decision was made in court twice. ... We gave up revenue to have the team associated with Anaheim, so people across the country and the world would see the name and think to visit Anaheim.
"But at this point, we agree that it's in everybody's best interest to take no further action," Pringle said.
I'd say Pringle is correct, especially considering the city apparently spent $4 million on the initial lawsuit and $150,000 on the appeal. That sounds like a lot of dough, but the Angels apparently spent $7.5 million, nearly twice as much. Yes, between both sides, at least $11.5 million was invested in this argument.
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I'll pause for a moment to let the ridiculousness of those figures soak in a bit.
Ready? OK. I'm hardly an expert on the economic affects of tourism, but I'd venture a guess that the number of people who actually visit a city because a team is named after it is completely negligible, and certainly not worth $4 million (let alone $11.5 million!) in lost tourism dollars. (That's not to say it's all been wasted money -- lawyers need to eat, too!)
If I'm a fan of the Angels, I know where they actually play, and I even knew it back when they were called the California Angels. And if someone "across the country and the world" is truly motivated to visit the area simply because they see it on a uniform, chances are they're already a fan of the team and know where they need to go. You shouldn't need three years and two lawsuits to figure that out.
City of Anaheim No Longer Cares What Angels Call Themselves originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Wed, 14 Jan 2009 16:20:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.