It has been announced by Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno that the Major League Baseball team formerly known as the Anaheim Angels will change their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in an attempt to attract a new fan base in the city of angels that lies 25 miles northwest of Anaheim. The new name oddly mirrors the former name of Anaheim's National Hockey League team, The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, who went on to become the Anaheim Ducks.
Angels spokesman Tim Mead stated that the Angels believe with this name change the "appeal in the marketplace will be broader," despite the fact that the Angels were numbers-wise the third most watched team in the Majors, trailing only the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium and oddly enough, the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
Changing the name of a team in an attempt to appeal to a broader marketplace isn't uncommon. In 1971, after eleven years of play the Boston Patriots became the New England Patriots. That same year the San Francisco Warriors became the Golden State Warriors after nine years of play. It also is a noticeable trend that a majority of the expansion teams or relocated teams in the past 15 years are named after the states or areas they play in and not a certain city. Such as the Florida Marlins, Colorado Avalanche, Arizona Diamondbacks, Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Timberwolves etc.
Yet including two cities into one name? I can only remember one other top-flight professional team attempting this, and that was the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in Major League Soccer, and as of 2003, their official website and the MLS website officially refers to them as "MetroStars" with no city prefix.
This adds another chapter into the ridiculous changing of names that the Angels franchise has gone through. They actually started off in 1961 as the Los Angeles Angels as a second team for the town along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, yet after moving to Anaheim in 1965 they became the California Angels and then went through another name change when they were bought by Disney in 1997 and became the Anaheim Angels. Attempts by officials from the city of Anaheim get this decision reversed failed (an official called the change "geographically confusing and absurd") and they will begin the 2005 MLB season as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
I think Angels owner Arte Moreno needs to realize that simply sneaking in the words "Los Angeles" into the Angels name isn't suddenly going to bring droves of Dodger fans into Edison International Field. Perhaps instead of stealing the "Los Angeles" name, he should continue to attempt to build a legacy that the Dodgers have enjoyed in Los Angeles. Since arriving in town in 1958, the Dodgers have won four World Series titles, nine National League pennants and ten division titles.
Moreno has now taken over a team that had missed the playoffs 38 out of 41 years in California and since became a underdog World Champion in 2002 and, in the second season under Moreno's ownership, a division victor in 2004.
First the Los Angeles Angels, then the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim…which will go down as the biggest mouthful of a name in professional sports history.