The City of Anaheim and the Angels are hitting the re-set button in an effort to forge a mutually-beneficial agreement to keep the baseball team in Anaheim. As a first-step toward re-starting negotiations with the Angels, newly-elected Mayor Harry Sidhu is asking the city council on January 15 to extend the team’s stadium lease from October 2019 to the end of 2020.
The idea is gain breathing space to deliberately hash out a new deal that benefits residents and the city while keeping the Angels – who have called Anaheim home for 52 years – in town for another 50 years.
“Last week, I met with Angels owner Arte Moreno,” Mayor Sidhu said. “From that meeting, it is clear the team’s priority is to stay in Anaheim, if we can work out a deal that benefits our residents, the city and the team. We need a plan to make that happen, and we need time to make that happen.”
On October 15 of last year, the Angles exercised their one-year opt-out provision.
One of Sidhu’s campaign pledges was to find a way to keep the Angles in Anaheim.
“I pledged I would make keeping the Angels one of my top priorities,” Sidhu said. “I’m asking my City Council colleagues on Tuesday to consider a one-year extension. This will give us time to find a deal that first benefits our residents as well as the city and the team, with a goal of keeping baseball in Anaheim for another 50 years or more.”
In a statement, Angels owner Arte Moreno said, “After meeting with Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu, we realized a one-yea extension will give us adequate time to work collaboratively on a long-term relationship.”
“I’m looking forward to a fresh start in negotiations to keep the Angels in Anaheim,” said District 6 Councilman Trevor O’Neil. “I’m proud to be a part of this process, and am confident that we will craft a deal that benefits not only the team, but the taxpayers and residents of our city as well.”
Angel Stadium is the fourth-oldest stadium in major league baseball, and the price tag of necessary repairs and maintenance has been estimated at between $130 and $150 million. According to city spokesman Michael Lyster, options under consideration range from rehabilitating the existing facility to building an entirely new stadium.
The stadium site is in the Platinum Triangle, which is experiencing a billion-dollar construction boom adding homes, restaurants, shops and entertainment. The Angel Stadium site has tremendous untapped potential as a generator of economic activity and tax revenue. The stadium property is already zoned and permitted for more than 5,000 residential units and 3.1 million square feet each of office and commercial uses. The right mix of residential, office, entertainment and retail would revitalize the site, and some observers believe potentially generate as much as a billion in incremental tax revenues over the course of 30 or so years.
It is hoped an agreement can be brought to the city council for approval by mid-summer.
As a result of the November elections, Anaheim now has in place what had been the missing critical elements for a successful resolution of the standoff: parties that want the Angels to stay in Anaheim, and who can negotiate in trust and good faith to forge an agreement that is good for residents, the city and the team.