L.A. Angels of Anaheim Win Name Change Suit
A Santa Ana jury has ruled, inexplicably, that changing the team name from Anaheim Angels to Los Angeles Angels of Annaheim did not breach a contract requiring the team to be named after the city of Anaheim.
A jury ruled Thursday that the Angels did not breach a contract with the city of Anaheim when the baseball team changed its name.
Jurors rejected the city of Anaheim’s argument that the baseball team violated a stadium lease and cost the city where it plays at least $100 million in revenue by changing the name last year from Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The jury, which deliberated for a little more than four hours, also found the team did not violate a state law requiring good faith and fair dealing.
“I was trying to create something positive and more inclusive … which we believed was our legal right to do,” Angels owner Arte Moreno said. “Long term, we’re going to have a healthier franchise that can compete.”
I would have thought this one a slam dunk for the city of Anaheim. Every other franchise in professional sports is named in the same way: City/state name Team name. Clearly, the city had reasonable expectation, therefore, that the team would call itself the Anaheim Angels.
Further, while Anaheim remains appended to the name, the team is generally referred to as the Los Angeles Angels or L.A. Angels in all press reports or on sports tickers. There can be no doubt that this considerably diminishes to value received in exchange for the considerations offered by the city of Anaheim in the lease agreement.
Corrections from English to Californian made in spelling of city names.