Don’t tell the Los Angeles Angels about freedom of the press. The Angles aren’t censoring their beat writers or the national writers tasked with following them after signing Josh Hamilton to a massive contract, but they’re not keeping their press box. The team has announced that portions of the press box will be converted and renovated into luxury suites to accommodate as many as 80 more fans with “upgraded dining opportunities and amenities”.
Those that have a beef with how the Angels are spending their money have a whole new ballgame to be upset about.
The press box won’t be absent from the ballpark, but it just won’t be in as cozy of a spot. The television and radio booths will remain where they are, but for newspaper writers and bloggers, they’ll be watching Josh Hamilton and the Angels from an vantage point next year.
Los Angeles isn’t even trying to hide behind the move, and have even had their president of communications come right out to say this move is all about the money.
“It really boils down to building revenue streams and finding as many ways as possible to grow,” said Tim Mead, Angels vice president of communications. “In talking to other teams, the seating behind home plate is a prime area to do things.”
The Angels aren’t the first team in recent history to move their press box to another part of the ballpark. The Chicago White Sox moved their press box way down the right field line and up a level several years ago. This didn’t go over well with the local media in Chicago and even MLB commissioner Bud Selig objected to the move but it stuck anyways.
Writers complained of the new sight lines in Chicago and that they could impair their ability to do their jobs. The Angels have said they understand the situation in Chicago, but promise that won’t happen in L.A.
“I know how things went there,” Mead said. “There were new sight lines, but people adjusted after a while. We’re going to try to make it as comfortable as possible for everyone.”