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The Big A: Our House

For more than 50 years, Angel Stadium of Anaheim — the Big A — has hosted some epic moments in sports, and Anaheim, history.APA_130517_405 small

Think Nolan Ryan's no-hitters of the 1970s, the 2002 World Series, the 2010 All-Star game and the thrill of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani today. 

Then there have been amazing concerts, from the Beach Boys and Rolling Stones to Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper. And don’t forget Supercross, Monster Jam and other great events.

We’re starting work on the next 50-plus years of the Big A, the city-owned stadium.

So far, our City Council in January 2019 approved an amended lease for Angels Baseball at Angel Stadium of Anaheim that ensures baseball through at least 2020.

We've enlisted an appraiser to help us with the current valuation for the stadium site. A draft appraisal was shared with our City Council in August 2019. We've also enlisted a sports consultant and economic development consultant to provide input on a potential new agreement. You can find details on our consultants below.

In March 2019, the Angels engaged a development consultant, Newport Beach-based Brooks Street, to help them look at opportunities as part of a potential agreement. In May 2019, the Angels added architectural, engineering and financial advisory firms to their consultant team.

For Anaheim, we’re looking for a new lease that benefits our residents, businesses and visitors by helping us realize the vision of the Platinum Triangle — the area around the stadium and Honda Center. And, of course, it has to work for the Angels and all the team's fans.

You can find out more below. As things progress, we'll update this site with more details.

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What's going on with the Angels and the stadium?

The city and the team are in the initial stages of looking at a potential new long-term lease at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

We have talked with the team about a new lease on and off since 2013. The current round of talks was initiated after a meeting between Mayor Harry Sidhu and team owner Arte Moreno in January 2019.

We expect discussions in October 2019 and throughout the rest of the year about a deal that works for our residents and Angels fans, with potential consideration of a proposed lease agreement in late 2019. 

Are the Angels looking at Long Beach? 

Long Beach has reached out to the team about exploring the prospect of a stadium on a parcel of land in that city's downtown. 

Like any business, the Angels have to look at options brought to them. But with a goal of progress this year, the team has shared with us that their focus is on Anaheim, where the Angels are now in their 54th season and have drawn more than 3 million fans for each of the past 16 seasons.

In March 2019, the Angels enlisted Newport Beach-based Brooks Street for development consulting services. In May, they added architectural, engineering and financial advisory firms as part of their consultant team. 

We believe that speaks to the opportunity here in Anaheim if we can reach an agreement that works for everyone.

How would development be part of a new stadium lease? 

As seen around California and the nation, stadiums and arenas in conjunction with development is the new standard.

We have a lot of opportunity with land around the stadium. Development as shops, restaurants and even a hotel or office campus could be the way to fund improvements to the Big A or even a new stadium.

What plays out here will be distinctly Anaheim. But there is inspiration to be found across California and the country.

A good example is Golden 1 Center, home to the Sacramento Kings basketball team, which has revitalized California's capital city with the surrounding Downtown Commons and its dining, shopping, entertainment and a boutique hotel.

There's also San Diego’s Petco Park with it’s skyline views, a hotel connected by its own entry bridge and the restaurants and entertainment of the Gaslamp Quarter next door.

We're also tracking the progress of Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers stadium being built in Arlington, Texas, and set to open in 2020.

Designed by HKS Architects, Globe Life Field will play off the adjacent Texas Live! built in partnership with the Texas Rangers. Texas Live! features cool dining, entertainment and an awe-inspiring 100-foot video wall.

What's the issue with Angel Stadium? 

You wouldn't know it, but Angel Stadium is baseball's fourth-oldest stadium after Boston’s Fenway Park, Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. 

The stadium still looks great, but, like any facility of its age, it needs improvements to basics such as plumbing, bathrooms, elevators and escalators, pedestrian ramps and concrete.

We are looking to land around the stadium as an asset that could be used to fund improvements or a new stadium while also bringing new revenue to the city as land is developed as restaurants, shops, homes and other uses.

What was the extension the City Council approved?

In January 2019, the Council approved an amended lease for the Angels at Angel Stadium.

The amendment mutually rescinded a lease opt-out exercised by the Angels in October 2018, reinstated the 1996 stadium lease and extended the next lease opt-out date to December 2019.  

On Jan. 15, 2019, the City Council voted 5-2 to approve the amended lease.

You can read the staff report here.

You can read the lease amendment here

Why amend the lease?

By rescinding the exercised opt-out, the amended lease allows extra time for the the city and the Angels to talk about a potential new long-term lease.

In 2018, we approved a new long-term agreement with the operators of Honda Center and the Anaheim Ducks hockey team that keeps the team here for 25-plus years. The deal brings added revenue for Anaheim and is great for our city. But it still took time to work out.

The amended lease with the Angels allows everyone time to work on a new agreement for Angel Stadium. 

Why did the Angels exercise an opt-out option?

Like any business, the team had to protect options available to them or lose them. Attempts at a new agreement in 2013 and 2016 never came to fruition, and the team is looking for clarity about its future at Angel Stadium. We see this as a new chance for an agreement that works for everyone.

Aren't you just giving the team more time to find another place to play?

We've approved a limited, one-year extension on any future lease opt-out as a good faith effort for a partnership that has spanned five decades.

We believe the Angels are approaching it the same way and that it is clear the team's priority is Anaheim. 

Is the team paying more?

The item approved by our Council continues the team's lease under the current terms with no additional payment. Instead, it guarantees another year of baseball and the prospect of a long-term commitment, with all the economic benefit that brings to Anaheim.

Who would negotiate a new lease?

The city of Anaheim and the ownership and management team at the Angels, with outside help and consultation as needed.

What would a new lease look like?

We are too early for specifics. But, from Anaheim's perspective, a new lease would be part of our vision for the Platinum Triangle, the 820-acre area around the stadium and Honda Center. 

The Platinum Triangle continues to evolve into an exciting place with urban-style homes, restaurants, shops and offices. And we want to see more of that for the ongoing benefit it brings to our residents. We have the chance to create something special, and advantageous, for Anaheim.

As underutilized parking lots and industrial space are developed, it brings new revenue from property and sales taxes in the Platinum Triangle. That goes directly to police, fire, libraries, parks and other community services and creates ongoing revenue to serve current and future generations of Anaheim residents.

At the same time, we want to preserve what's great about Angel Stadium: easy freeway access, parking and fan experience getting in and out. 

Are you going to lease the land for $1 a year like I heard in 2013?

No.

2013 was six years ago, and we are not looking to rehash a divisive issue on an earlier City Council.

Today, we have a new Council with a fresh perspective. 

While it's too early to talk about any potential lease, we would value land at market prices in a deal that makes good economic sense for our residents and our city.

Our recent agreement with Honda Center and the Anaheim Ducks is a good example. You can learn more at Anaheim. net/HCNext25.

Is it true the Angels don't pay rent at Angel Stadium?

No. 

The topic of baseball in Anaheim generates a lot of talk, much of it positive but some of it misleading.

Under the terms of the team's 1996 lease, the Angels prepaid $80 million in rent in the late 1990s in the form of improvements to the Big A, a city facility. 

That was money the city and its residents did not have to pay to fix up a stadium that at that time was 30 years old. 

The $80 million prepayment works out to $2.4 million a year in rent over the 33-year term of the 1996 lease. 

Is the team going to change its name back? 

We are focused on big issues, including enhancing Angel Stadium, or maybe even a new stadium, and realizing the vision of the Platinum Triangle.  

We know the name issue still registers with many in our community. But it was settled in court a decade ago and isn't our focus today with a lot of other big issues to tackle.

When will we hear more about a potential new lease?

We've started early talks with the Angels and will work through the negotiation process in late summer and fall.

We'll provide updates here and on our fact sheet as things progress. Our city manager will also brief our City Council as he has updates.

We would hope to have details on a potential agreement in late 2019.

Any agreement would go before our City Council for approval. We'll share details beforehand, just as we did with our agreement with Honda Center, which was well received by the community.