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Tempe Diablo Stadium upgrades planned; Angels to extend lease

Tempe Diablo Stadium

Tempe Diablo Stadium upgrades could cost $50.9 million over the next two years, as the city of Tempe and the Los Angeles Angels negotiate a new lease that will keep the team in Tempe potentially through 2045 with a base term and extensions.

The upgrades, planned on both the fan and player sides, are planned for two phases, with the first phase of improvements tentatively scheduled for spring training 2022. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city and the Angels is in place after city approval, with the next step a formal lease between the two sides will be negotiated in coming weeks. It could be approved this summer if negotiations go smoothly.

Under the terms of the MOU, the team and city will extend the Diablo Stadium lease through 2035. The Angels could later choose to extend that lease to 2040 or 2045 through lease extensions. Under the new lease terms, the Angels will pay $500,000 annually beginning next year, with payments increasing by 1.8 percent annually. 

Phase 1 of the planned renovation includes a new, three-level building on the third-base side of the ballpark to house a new clubhouse, suites, Angels offices and a team store. This phase is projected to cost $20.9 million–$10 million from the Angels and $10.9 million from Tempe. Design work will begin soon and Phase 1 could be ready for spring training 2022.

Phase 2 of the renovation includes a new 360-degree outfield concourse, along with more improvements for fans like new shade structures, modernized restrooms and better traffic flow outside the facility. This phase is projected to cost $30 million, which the city and team have proposed through the MOU would come from Tempe through future voter-approved bonds.

Tempe Diablo Stadium opened in 1969 as the new spring home of the expansion Seattle Pilots and then the Milwaukee Brewers when the Pilots moved east. It then hosted Seattle Mariners spring training from the team’s inception in 1977 through 1993. It’s been home to the Angels since the Mariners move.

“We would like to thank Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, the City Council, and City Staff for their leadership throughout this process,” said Angels Owner Arte Moreno in a statement issue by the city. “For nearly 30 years Tempe Diablo Stadium has served as the backdrop of Spring Training memories for our fans while also playing a vital role in the preparation of our teams. The Angels Organization is proud to continue our longstanding partnership with the City of Tempe, and we look forward to modernizing one of the most picturesque ballparks in the Cactus League.”

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