The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim … or perhaps somewhere else?
The team announced on Tuesday it was opting out of its lease with the City of Anaheim for the “Big A” stadium – officially Angel Stadium of Anaheim – that has been its home since it opened in 1966.
That doesn’t mean the team is headed for another city, but that could be the end result. What it does mean is that negotiations between the Halos and Anaheim about the future of the stadium will re-open, probably after the Nov. 6 election when it becomes clear what the political climate will be.
“As we look to the future, we need the ability to continue to deliver a high-quality fan experience beyond what the original lease allows,” Angels president John Carpino said in a statement. “It is important that we look at all our options and how we can best serve our fans now and in the future.”
And Anaheim’s official reply? “We look forward to many great years of Angels’ baseball in Anaheim,” said Mike Lyster, a city spokesman. “We don’t believe there is a better place for the team than in the heart of Orange County’s most exciting city.
“The Angels’ paid attendance here puts them in rare company as part of a group that includes the Dodgers, Yankees and Cubs that sell more than 3 million tickets each year. As fun as baseball is in Anaheim, this is a reminder that this is still a business. And we understand that the Angels need to preserve all options available.”
At issue is the stadium itself, the fourth-oldest in big league baseball. Only Fenway Park in Boston, Wrigley Field in Chicago and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles are older. Newer stadiums can sometime offer a better fan experience and more revenue to the operator by selling “skyboxes” and renting space to eateries and even retail shops.