The Big A: 2050
There’s a proposal for the future of baseball in Anaheim. We call it The Big A: 2050.
It would keep baseball in Anaheim for the next 30-plus years and has the potential for positive economic impact and community benefit for our city.
The Anaheim City Council has approved a first-step purchase and sale agreement for 153 acres including and around Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
In February 2020, we started talks with Angels Baseball on second-step agreements called for with the approval of the purchase and sale agreement.
We expect to see those agreements come to the City Council for public consideration later this year.
You can find out a lot more below, with links to overview fact sheets, the proposed purchase and sale agreement, an appraisal and more.
What’s going on with the Angels and the stadium?
The city and the ownership of Angels Baseball have a proposed agreement for the future of baseball in Anaheim.
Here’s an overview:
- 2050: The Angels would commit to play in Anaheim for the next 30 years, with options for beyond that.
- $325 million: SRB Management Co. LLC, made up of Angels owner Arte Moreno, wife Carole and their family trust, would pay $325 million to buy 153 acres of city land, including 45,483-seat Angel Stadium of Anaheim. At $2.1 million an acre, the sale would be at market value and at the high end of Anaheim’s appraisal, reflecting potential development and 12,500 parking spaces for baseball and events.
- Development: Part of the land could see apartments, homes, hotels and entertainment uses in the next 30 years, as part of Anaheim’s planning for the Platinum Triangle. As land gives way to new uses, conservative estimates see at least $10 million in net yearly city revenue from hotel, property and sales taxes.
- Stadium: Development could also include a renovated or new stadium, led by Angels ownership with revenue from development. There would be no city funding of a renovated or new stadium.
- Community benefits: The city could seek to see that any development includes affordable housing and park space beyond what is typically seen. Anaheim could also ask for union construction jobs with priority hiring for Anaheim residents. The final cash payment for the stadium and land could be adjusted for community benefits sought by the city and provided as part of the agreement.
The city is selling Angel Stadium of Anaheim?
The proposal calls for the city to sell the stadium and 133 acres around it for $325 million.
In December 2019, the Anaheim City Council approved a first-step purchase and sale agreement for the stadium and land.
Anaheim is proud to have built and owned Orange County’s only Major League Baseball stadium since the 1960s.
But the proposal reflects a trend toward private ownership, as with Dodger Stadium, SoFi Stadium in Inglewood and Chase Center in San Francisco, the new home of the Golden State Warriors.
Selling the Big A, as the stadium is known, would relieve the city of yearly payments toward improvements, currently at $700,000, $5 million through the potential close of a sale in 2025 and $17 million through 2038, the end date of the current lease. Anaheim would also save annual administrative costs to oversee a stadium lease and agreements with neighboring businesses.
At the same time, the city would forego revenue sharing on ticket sales and parking, which was $1.3 million, and $581,200 after expenses, for the 12 months through June 2019. Any revenue lost stands to be offset by savings Anaheim would see from no longer owning and leasing the stadium.
Selling the stadium would also clear up questions about renovating Angel Stadium or building a new stadium. Under the proposal, that would fall to the team’s ownership. Anaheim taxpayers aren’t being asked to pay for anything.
How would development be part of the proposal?
We would expect the team’s ownership to come up with and submit a master site plan for the land in accordance with Anaheim’s planning for the Platinum Triangle, the 820-acre area including Angel Stadium, Honda Center, apartments, condominiums and other businesses.
This would help Anaheim realize the Platinum Triangle vision as a downtown for Orange County with sports, homes, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, offices and transit.
As seen around California and the nation, stadiums and arenas in conjunction with development is the new standard.
What plays out in the Platinum Triangle 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 its skyline views, a hotel connected by its own entry bridge and the restaurants and entertainment of the Gaslamp Quarter next door.
What is the community benefits portion of the agreement?
In addition to potentially selling the stadium and land, Anaheim could press for development to include affordable housing and parks and open spaces above and beyond what we’d normally require and see with development.
The city also could be asking for a workforce agreement that ensures good paying union jobs, with a priority placed on Anaheim residents, for any development.
Those details are expected to be worked out in the next few months.
What is the community benefits adjustment?
With potential affordable housing, parks and open spaces in a master site plan and a possible workforce agreement, the team’s ownership could be eligible for an adjustment on the final cash payment for the land.
The city would like to see that a large part of stadium land goes to parks and housing that lets people afford to live and work in Anaheim. And work should be done with good pay and a priority for Anaheim workers.
With nearly 700 acres of city park space and more than 3,500 affordable apartments, Anaheim already does a great job. But we can’t add either fast enough.
The biggest hurdles are land and getting developers to build. With this proposal, Anaheim is asking the Angels ownership to do more.
For that, Anaheim is considering a to-be-determined community benefit adjustment on the final payment for affordable housing and parks. We’ll work out those details in the next few months.
Anaheim will have to pay one way or another for these valuable community benefits. This could ensure affordable housing and parks in a stadium land master site plan, while still keeping ample land sale proceeds to invest in our community.
What about the city’s land appraisal?
You can find a fact sheet summary and the full appraisal above.
The $325 million sale value is at the high end of the appraisal’s range for keeping baseball with 12,500 parking spots for games and events and potential development.
Is the city selling the land for less than it’s worth?
No. The city is selling the land at market value for land including a stadium, 12,500 parking spots and potential development. The price exceeds by $5 million the appraised price for that scenario.
You’ll hear some talk about "$500 million." The high end of our appraisal is $475 million — for selling the land without a stadium, without the Angels and more development than under the proposed agreement. The land could only see that kind of valuation without baseball.
The goal of our City Council and the overwhelming sentiment of our residents was to see if we could strike a good, fair deal that keeps baseball here.
Will the team be called the Anaheim Angels?
The agreement does not address the team name.
As a city, we always want to see the Anaheim name as prominent as possible. We brought up the issue during negotiations, and it was clear it wasn’t up for discussion.
To pursue the name issue could have required major concessions on the city’s part, in effect subsidizing the team’s name with public money or assets.
The city earlier fought the name issue in court, without success. In the mid-2000s, the city sued over the team’s name, spending $7 million and three years in litigation.
A jury decided in 2006 that the official team name meets the technical terms of the stadium lease and that the team has discretion in how it markets itself.
That decision was upheld on appeal in 2007.
Why did the city have to vote in December?
For nearly all of 2019, the city pledged to see an agreement or progress toward one by the end of the year. The City Council’s December vote reflects that.
The December vote also addressed a Dec. 31 lease opt-out option that the Angels had. The goal of both sides was to get to a place where the opt-out wasn’t something we needed to address.
The Council’s vote in December mutually waived the Dec. 31 opt-out option.
What’s the process for the proposal?
The City Council would consider the agreement in three phases, with plenty of chances for the public to learn more and weigh in.
- Dec. 20, 2019: The City Council approved a purchase and sale agreement for the stadium and land in a special meeting starting.
- Spring to mid-2020: The City Council could publicly consider a disposition and development agreement covering future development, community benefits, as well as an Angels Commitment Agreement spelling out specifics for the team to play in Anaheim.
- 2021-2025: filing of a potential development master site plan, tract maps, city and environmental review.
All three stages are dependent on each other. An agreement wouldn’t finally close and conclude until the city approves final tract maps for the land, potentially around 2023 to 2025.