'Unfinished business': Los Angeles Angels owner no longer selling team

Mar 11, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno watches game action during a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno on Monday said he was no longer interested in selling the team he has owned for 20 years after announcing in August that he was looking for buyers.

"During this process, it became clear that we have unfinished business and feel we can make a positive impact on the future of the team and the fan experience," Moreno said in a statement.

"This offseason we committed to a franchise record player payroll and still want to accomplish our goal of bringing a World Series Championship back to our fans.

"We are excited about this next chapter of Angels Baseball."

Moreno bought the Angels from the Walt Disney Company for $180 million in 2003, making the billionaire businessman the first Mexican American to own a major pro sports team in the United States.

The current value of the franchise is somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion, ESPN reported.

The Angels won their lone World Series in 2002, shortly before Moreno purchased it, and the team has struggled in recent years with its last postseason appearance coming in 2014.

The team currently boasts two of the best players in baseball - pitching and hitting sensation Shohei Ohtani and 10-time All-Star and three-time AL MVP slugger Mike Trout.

Moreno, 76, said he had met with a number of highly qualified individuals and groups who expressed strong interest in the club but had a change of heart as discussions advanced and now plans to oversee the team for the foreseeable future.

"We realized our hearts remain with the Angels, and we are not ready to part ways with the fans, players, and our employees," he said.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said he supported Moreno's decision.

"Despite strong buyer interest in the Angels, Arte Moreno's love of the game is most important to him," Manfred said.

"I am very pleased that the Moreno Family has decided to continue owning the team."

Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Los Angeles-based sports reporter who interviews the most impactful athletes and executives in the world. Covers breaking news ranging from the highs of championship victories to the lows of abuse scandals. My work highlights the ways in which sports and the issues of race, gender, culture, finance, and technology intersect.