Los Angeles Angels, Anaheim make it official: Team is staying put

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will continue to be “of Anaheim,” at least for the next 30-plus years, after the team and the City of Anaheim announced Wednesday that the two sides had struck a deal to keep the team there through 2050.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the deal will include the purchase of the stadium and the surrounding parking lots for $325 million by an investment group that includes Angels owner Arte Moreno. The team will also have the option of extending its deal to play in Anaheim through 2065.

“We appreciate the mayor’s leadership in working to keep the Angels here in Anaheim, which has been our home for over 50 years,” Moreno said in a statement. “Today is our first step in enabling us to invest in our future by building a winning team and delivering a high-quality fan experience.”

The agreement will be voted on by the City Council in Anaheim on Dec. 20. The two sides had until the end of the year to reach a new lease agreement. The Dec. 31 cutoff was the point in which the Angels would have to opt out of their lease with the city or be bound to it through 2029.

Earlier this year the Post reported that the Angels were in preliminary talks with Long Beach about the potential of developing a waterfront stadium on the Elephant Lot in downtown, however those talks fizzled. After one official meeting in March between the city and an entity representing the team, the two sides never officially met again.

Long Beach officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Mayor Robert Garcia congratulated the two sides on Twitter.

The team was seeking a deal in which it could develop the land around a new or renovated stadium to build a complex that included dining, shopping and potentially housing like other modern stadium developments. While the Anaheim City Council was initially reluctant to cede control of the land around Angel Stadium, with some remarking it would be more valuable with housing being built on it, the deal struck Wednesday gave the team what it had sought all along.

Angel Stadium is currently the fourth-oldest baseball stadium in the country behind Boston’s Fenway Park, Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. Over the decades the team and the city have invested millions in renovating the site but the team had recently expressed desires for a more dramatic approach for the future home of the Angeles.

It’s unclear if the Angels will eventually build a new stadium, renovate the existing one or if the team will develop the surrounding 153-acre site into something than the vast expanse of parking lots that currently makeup the stadium’s surroundings. But Wednesday’s news made clear that whatever it does, the team will do it in Anaheim.

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post.
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