Start Spreading The News: Los Angeles Angels Expected To Remain In Anaheim Through 2o50

Forbes Finance 1 week ago
Los Angeles Angels Introduce Joe Maddon - News Conference
The Los Angeles Angels introduced new manager Joe Maddon at Angel Stadium in October. (Photo by ... [+] Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Angels have agreed in principle to purchase Angel Stadium and the 133 acres of land surrounding it, keeping the American League club in Anaheim until 2050 with options that could go as long as another 15 years.

The purchase price is $325 million, and control of the land and facility will be taken over by a business partnership to include Angels owner Arte Moreno.

Members of the Anaheim City Council were briefed on the deal Tuesday and are expected to ratify it on Dec. 20, the Orange County Register reported.

“For every fan who told us to keep the Angels, this proposal would do exactly that,” Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu said in a statement. “This proposal reflects what we’ve heard from the community – keep the Angels, a fair land price, money for neighborhoods, ongoing revenue, affordable housing, parks and jobs for Anaheim.”

The Angels expanded into the AL in 1961 and moved from Los Angeles to Anaheim with the opening of the new stadium in 1966.

The facility originally cost Anaheim $24 million to construct and already has been renovated twice, expanded and then contracted with the coming and going of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. Whether Moreno will renovate again or tear it down and start over is a decision to be made in the near future.

As it is, the current edifice is the fourth oldest in Major League Baseball behind Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. It seats 45,517.

Where the Angels would play during a lengthy construction period is also a matter of conjecture. Including the time of the building of what was then called Anaheim Stadium, the Angels played at Dodger Stadium from 1962-65 during the formative stages of the franchise’s existence.

Be that as it may, the stadium will become the cog of a new ballpark village to be built out around it. In recent years portions of the parking lot have already been utilized for entertainment and apartment complexes.

To that end, the Angels have hired HKS Architects to design options for either renovating or replacing Angel Stadium.

The agreement ends an arduous process during which Moreno looked at neighboring cities, but ultimately decided to stay put. He had until the end of the year to determine whether to leave or stay.

“We appreciate the mayor’s leadership in working to keep the Angels here in Anaheim,” Moreno said in a widely-published statement. “Today is the first step in enabling us to invest in our future by building  a winning team and delivering a high-quality fan experience.”

As far as the winning team is concerned, the Angels have only been to the playoffs once in the past 10 years under Moreno and haven’t won a postseason game during the Mike Trout era.

The 28-year-old center fielder, just named MVP of the AL for the third time, was signed this past spring to a 12-year contract extension worth $426.5 million through the 2030 season.

The Angels have only been to the World Series once, coming from behind in 2002 to defeat the San Francisco Giants in seven games. Disney was the owner of the team at the time, selling it to Moreno in 2003.

They have just finished their fourth consecutive losing season, and at 72-90 in 2019, suffered through their worst season since 1999.

At the end of the season, Moreno signed old friend Joe Maddon to a three-year contract as manager, replacing the fired Brad Ausmus. 

In the immediate future, Maddon faces a host of problems, not the least of which is the return of Trout from foot surgery and two-way player Shohei Ohtani from knee surgery. Ohtani, also recovering from Tommy John surgery, was only recently given clearance to throw off a mound.

Both players are expected to be ready by the start of spring training.

The club is also currently under federal investigation regarding staff involvement in the opiate-related death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs with a Major League Baseball investigation expected to follow.

But at least one matter seems to be settled: The Angels will be playing in Anaheim long after Trout is gone.

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