The Anaheim City Council voted 4-2 to approve a deal to sell Angel Stadium and the parking lots around it to a development group led by Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno for $325 million.
The council approved the broad outlines of a deal with SRB Management Co. LLC, where Moreno is the controlling partner: the final price will be determined after factors like community benefits, a workforce agreement, affordable housing and a specific commitment to the Angels staying in Anaheim are negotiated in early 2020. SRB Management Co. LLC will be free to renovate Angel Stadium, MLB’s fourth-oldest ballpark (after Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium), or build a new ballpark on the 153-acre site, which is valued in the agreement at $2.1 million an acre. SRB Management is expected to embark on a mixed-use development plan like the one employed at SunTrust Park and The Battery, with retail, bars/restaurants, apartments, condos, hotel and services potentially in the mix.
Specifically, the sale includes the 20-acre Angel Stadium site and an additional 133 acres comprising 12,500 parking spaces for games and events, City National Grove of Anaheim, a 1,700-seat theater. Given that theaters have popped up recent as adjuncts for ballparks (the Boston Red Sox are building a theater next to Fenway Park, and a new theater is opening in 2020 next to Target Field), City National Grove of Anaheim could be part of any development plans.
The approval was expected; negotiators for the city and the Angels had reached a deal earlier this month. While there were some objections to the sale potentially undervaluing the 153-acre site, it was seen as an acceptable compromise by both sides: the Angels immediately assume all the costs of running Angel Stadium and commit to Anaheim through 2050 (with five five-year options), while the city has a plan for a large-scale development development in the trendy Platinum Triangle area of the city. (Selling Angel Stadium relieves the city of yearly payments toward improvements, currently at $700,000, $5 million through a potential close in 2025 and $17 million through 2038, the end date of the current lease, according to a city press release.) The most common objections from those testifying at the Anaheim City Council meeting: the deal was rushed and was not the result of an open bidding process. From the Orange County Register:
Angels president John Carpino said the discussion to buy the land “has not been rushed,” that the team’s management has been talking with the city’s administration about the future over the last nine years. He said the team floated the idea in November of privatizing the aging stadium, which needs “a significant upgrade.”
“This agreement allows us to stay in Anaheim and keep the tradition for generations to come,” he said. “This plan provides certainty for the fans, for the community and achieves the city’s goal of getting the fair market value.”
According to Anaheim officials, in early 2020 the city and Angels will discuss a disposition and development agreement for the land, a community benefits agreement and the formal details of an Angels commitment agreement. Those proposals would go before the City Council for public consideration in spring to mid-2020. The final stage of the proposal would be city review and approval of a master site plan and final tract plans potentially around 2023 to 2025. At that time, all agreements within the larger proposal, including the purchase and sale of the stadium and land, would finalize.
Photo of Angel Stadium, then known as Anaheim Stadium, from its 1966 opening.
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