While neither side is disclosing exact details that are being discussed, Anaheim mayor Harry Sidhu has characterized discussions with the Los Angeles Angels over a long-term ballpark plan as positive.
Last fall, the Angels effectively sought to open facility discussions by opting out of their Angel Stadium lease. After recently indicating that it is completely focused on finding a solution in Anaheim, the organization has participated in meetings with city officials in recent weeks to talk about its long-term facility plan.
The most recent of those meetings took place Friday. In a statement released following the meeting, Sidhu conveyed a positive tone about the ongoing discussions. While there will be more talks between the two sides, Sidhu indicated that the Angels and Anaheim are talking about some shared goals in the process. More from OC Register:
“We want to keep baseball here, see fair market value for land and added benefits for our city,” Sidhu said in a prepared statement released after the several-hour meeting. “It’s clear that the Angels share these goals and have heard the input of our City Council.”
Friday was the second formal face-to-face meeting between the two sides’ negotiating teams, but beyond their statements officials continue to offer few specifics of what could be a decades-long deal for Angel Stadium.
“We were pleased to meet with the negotiating team today and continue to make progress in our talks regarding our future in Anaheim,” Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey said.
The rest of the council got a closed-door briefing on Nov. 19 on the first meeting, which was Nov. 15, and will repeat that process Dec. 3 with an update on what happened Friday. City spokesman Mike Lyster said the negotiating parties may meet next week, but a date hasn’t been set.
It has been expected that any long-term plan in Anaheim will address the future of Angel Stadium, with a renovated or new ballpark to be at the center of redevelopment at the 155-acre site. Plenty of factors would likely be considered in a negotiating process involving the site, including value of the land, how the Angels would assume control of the property for redevelopment, funding mechanism, and potential community benefits from the Angels.
Exactly how that would play out remains to be seen, though the Los Angeles Times has reported, citing city documents, that the site of The City National Grove of Anaheim–a concert venue–is in play as part of the discussions. The theater is currently owned by the city, and operated by Nederlander Concerts. Neither the city nor the Angels have said what would happen to The Grove if the property is included in a final plan.
Angel Stadium is the fourth-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, having originally opened in 1966. It did undergo a major renovation prior to the 1998 season, but those improvements have not aged particularly well, and the Angels are looking for a long-term solution.