The Anaheim City Council voted 4-1 this week to delay the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's right to opt out of their lease for Angel Stadium to October 2019.
The Tuesday night vote also directs city staff to negotiate with team officials on an extended lease that could keep the team in Anaheim through 2057, according to The Orange County Register.
Mayor Tom Tait voted no, saying the deal will give the Angels the upper hand in negotiations and would make it easier for the team to move, The Register reported.
The team previously had the option to opt out as early as October 2016, but no later than February 2017, Anaheim Public Information Officer Ruth Ruiz said.
As part of an extended lease, city officials are willing to discuss letting the Angels drop "Anaheim" from the team's name as part of a deal that would also give team owner Arte Moreno development rights around the stadium -- while having the team pick up the $150 million tab for needed stadium renovations.
Part of the proposal includes leasing the property around the stadium to the team for $1 a year. However, Moreno would still have to win city approval of development he intends to include on the surrounding land, Ruiz said.
While city officials would prefer keeping Anaheim in the team's name, "It's more important to keep the team in town," Ruiz said.
The Angels were founded as the Los Angeles Angels in 1961. The team's name changed to California Angels in 1965 when it moved to Anaheim.
The team became the Anaheim Angels in 1996 when city officials agreed to pay for stadium renovations.
Moreno acquired the team from Disney in 2003, and announced in January 2005 that the team's name would change to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim -- satisfying a lease requirement that "Anaheim" be included in the name. City officials objected to the name, prompting a lawsuit against the team.
A jury sided with the team in February 2006.
— City News Service.