After nearly two decades as owner of the Los Angeles Angels, Arte Moreno is exploring a sale of the baseball team.
“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,” he said in a statement released Aug. 23. “Throughout this process, we will continue to run the franchise in the best interest of our fans, employees, players, and business partners.”
Moreno and his wife Carole purchased the Anaheim-based team in 2003 from the Walt Disney Co. for $184 million. It is now worth about $2 billion, according to Forbes.
The news follows Moreno’s unsuccessful attempt to purchase Anaheim Stadium.
The multi-year negotiations to buy the stadium and surrounding land for $320 million were fraught with controversies and fell apart in May. The Anaheim City Council voided the sale after allegations of possible back-door dealings surfaced in an FBI affidavit.
According to the affidavit, former Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu was accused of giving insider information to the baseball team in an effort to earn a substantial campaign donation. Sidhu resigned as mayor in April and has not been charged with a crime.
The Angels have a lease with Anaheim to play at the stadium through 2029 with an option of three three-year extensions through 2038.
In a statement released after Moreno’s announcement, city officials said they looked forward to whatever happens next.
“We have seen three Angels owners since the team moved here in 1966. While team sales don’t happen every day, they are a fact of life in sports,” the statement read. “Should we see new ownership, we look forward to continuing a great tradition of baseball in Anaheim.”
The city will wait to see how a potential sale plays out before deciding what to do next with the city-owned stadium, spokesman Mike Lyster told The Epoch Times.
“We have obviously just come through a very long and difficult process with the stadium,” he said. “We will have to watch, wait and see how this plays out. Should we see new ownership, we would have to allow them to get in place and get established. If the time is right, there is always potential to work with new ownership.”
The city is still uncertain about whether its ownership of the 56-year-old stadium should continue and its future plans for the surrounding land, as well as how to address another long-term lease for the team, according to Lyster.
The team is working with Galatioto Sports Partners as a financial adviser to explore sale alternatives.
The Angels have logged 1,547 wins and 1,385 losses under their ownership. Moreno purchased the team after the Angels won the World Series championship in 2002, but the team has struggled since.
Over its 61-year history, the franchise has had 6 MVPs, 2 Cy Young winners, 3 Rookie of the Year winners, 39 Rawlings Gold Glove winners, and 160 All-Stars, a spokesperson from the team told The Epoch Times.