Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno posited last week that he may divest himself of the other Major League Baseball team in the greater LA area. A $2.2 billion Forbes valuation — ninth-highest in MLB — might have a lot to do with that. Or he might be as tired of it as Angels fans are of him.
Given the Angels’ history of leaden contracts, extended malaise (no playoffs since 2014), and otherwise squandering two of the most talented and marketable players in the marketing center of the world, Moreno might be on to something. Until that time, Angels fans can only speculate on who that new owner could be and hope they’re driven to win.
(At least that gives them something to fret over other than the lack of legal California sports betting.)
California Casinos is here to help.
While anonymous billionaires with a competitive streak will do just fine in most instances, that’s a little boring. We care that Steve Ballmer cares. America, and Southern California in particular, is full of money bags with either enough money to do the trick or enough rich friends to go into an ownership consortium. Tech people, actors, athletes, rappers. There’s choices.
Presenting the California Casinos list of who we’d like to see own the Angels. There are 10 total people — two individual owners, and three ownership groups.
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Tom Hanks, Brock Pierce, Jackie Chan
Hanks starred in Angels & Demons and needs a team of his own. (See what we did there?) Pierce co-starred in a Mighty Ducks movie and went on to become a philanthropist and entrepreneur. And Jackie Chan is just cool.
Yes, Hanks is a Cleveland fan — he even narrated the Guardians intro video. But Anaheim is a lot closer when he’s hanging at his LA mansion. All three are rich. But just one is billionaire do-this-yourself rich. Hanks and Chan are both worth $400 million. Pierce would be in line for the corner office, bringing $2 billion in heft to the equation. (Check the math, as he was heavily invested in crypto.)
The Angels were born under the stewardship of singing cowboy Gene Autry, so it’s time to bring some Hollywood back to Orange County.
Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube
Dre and Ice Cube have sported lots of LA-centric sports paraphernalia. And Snoop’s athletic interests have trended toward football, but this is just too good. Want to bring a little edge and at the same time lighten up Anaheim? Here you go.
The owner’s box at Angel Stadium would be the hottest ticket in town, as binge-worthy TV as Lakers’ courtside seats during the Showtime era. Again, each member of this ownership group is loaded — Dre: $850 million, Ice Cube: $160 million, Snoop: $150 million — but not Steve Cohen loaded. So we’ll have them go in as partners and the faces of the franchise alongside Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.
Magic Johnson, LeBron James
There is no more iconic LA athlete than Magic Johnson, still to this day. And his business acumen has bloomed in the years since his NBA retirement. He’s had a taste of MLB ownership locally, and he seems to like it. For the sake of the Angels, he should divest of his slice of the Dodgers and come be part of the solution in Anaheim. He’s worth $620 million.
James, worth $1.2 billion, has always been a boundary-breaking athlete and has made no secret of his desire to one day own a sports team. He, too, is already dabbling as a member of the Fenway Sports Group that owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC. An LA team owned by two LA sports legends would be, well, legendary.
Nancy Walton Laurie
OK, on to the fat cats. There’s a couple of elements at play here.
First off, it’s about time someone else in this clan started plowing some of that sweet, sweet Walmart money into professional sports. Quit hoarding! Yes, Rob Walton bought the Broncos. Yes, the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche are technically held in the name of Ann Walton Kroenke, but that’s a paperwork thing benefitting her husband and Rams owner, Stan. There’s still plenty of inheritance to spend on sports teams.
Laurie is worth an estimated $8.5 billion. Also, this would be a devilishly interesting move even for those who don’t care anything about the Angels. Just think about the storylines it would introduce. Walton, who resides in Nevada, would beguile those who’d hope to lure the A’s from Oakland to Las Vegas, and Angels fans afraid she’s about to do a Stan Kroenke and move the team.
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Every list speculating on things rich persons might do must contain Elon Musk. It’s right there in the rules. Look it up.
But just imagine the amount of meddling and angering the Tesla principal, would-be Twitter God could do in a room full of MLB owners. Talk about a disruptor. Oh, and that luxury tax? That’s cute. Musk, the world’s second-richest man, is worth $190.5 billion according to Forbes. That’s a lot of Aaron Judges.