The Major League Baseball scene is strong in Southern California, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and San Diego Padres drawing thousands of fans to their respective ballpark on any given night during the regular season.
Though for some families, it has become increasingly difficult to attend an MLB game due to the rising ticket prices. It has led to a surge in attendance for Minor League Baseball teams, where fans can take in a game at a much more cheaper cost.
Dodgers minority owner Peter Guber connected the dots and proposed an idea that would’ve seen the organization purchase a Minor League team and relocate it to Woodland Hills, Calif.
The plan was to construct a stadium on the site of a failing Promenade Mall. The idea garnered support from virtually everyone involved, including MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and City of Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti.
While the project was well-received from the majority of the community, it was ultimately nixed when Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno declined to grant approval, via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
“There was nobody that did not like it,” Guber said, “except for Arte Moreno.” … “He has a right to do anything he wants. We have no quarrel with that. … But it certainly didn’t leave a good taste in our mouths, in terms of our relationship in the marketplace.”
Because the Dodgers and Angels share the Los Angeles market, both teams must approve Minor League relocations within the same territory. Vice president Tim Mead revealed that the Angels would have allowed the move had the Dodgers promised to grant permission in similar circumstances.
The Angels have at least considered moving one of their affiliates themselves, but the Dodgers could not offer any assurances that they would approve.
The ship has unfortunately sailed for the San Fernando Valley project, as the two Minor League teams up for sale — Bakersfield and Adelanto — have since moved to North Carolina.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers purchased a stake in their Triple-A affiliate in September 2014 and rebranded the RedHawks to the Oklahoma City Dodgers.