Thanks for the Help, L.A., but . . .
by Asher B. Chancey, BaseballeEvolution.com
Apparently, the city of Los Angeles feels about as good about getting the Angels back as the city of Anaheim feels about losing the Angels. The city filed a brief in Orange County Superior Court in which they claim that the court should "should reject the Angels' attempt to profit from the Los Angeles name they abandoned long ago." The brief goes on to argue that "The Angels are not a Los Angeles team and should not be identified as such," and calls the team's new name "misleading and confusing."
The name change, of course, is an attempt to associate the team with the nation's second largest media market, which would theoretically increase profitability for the team. How this change would affect the team is unclear, however, since the Angels trailed only the Dodgers and Yankees in attendance last season.
If the Angels are allowed to change their name, this could solve all of baseball's revenue issues. Presumably, if the Angels can claim to be from Los Angeles when they do not play in LA nor pay taxes in LA, why shouldn't every team be able to do this. Perhaps a system could be worked out by which every team west of the Mississippi renames themselves after Los Angeles, while every team east of the Mississippi could rename themselves after New York. Just imagine going to a game at Camden Yards for a match up between the New York Orioles of Baltimore and the Los Angeles Royals of Kansas City. Fantastic.
On the other hand, all you Sports Law buffs may want to keep an eye on this case, because if the court rules that a team which does not play or pay taxes in a city can not be named after that city, and that decision goes all the way up to the Supreme Court, it could have broad repercussions throughout the sports world. Here are just a few of the new names we'll have to get used to if such a ruling were handed down:
Major League Baseball
St. Petersburg Devil Rays
National Football League
North Carolina Panthers
Landover (MD) Redskins
East Rutherford (NJ) Giants
East Rutherford (NJ) Jets
Orchard Park Bills