Since it opened in 1966, Anaheim (now Angel) Stadium has been owned by the city of Anaheim. The leaders of that municipality spent about $24 million to construct what was then a state-of-the art facility at Katella Avenue and State College Boulevard to add a second gem (alongside Disneyland) to its reputation as a tourism and entertainment mecca.
Angels’ owner Gene Autry, tired of being the second-banana tenant at Dodger Stadium, was glad to make the move, which greatly increased the team’s fan base and financial success.
Now, a different bunch of city leaders and a different owner are on the cusp of selling that “Big A” and launching what many hope will begin another new era of raising further Anaheim’s profile as a magnet for tourists and others.
On Tuesday the Anaheim City Council voted 5-2 to sell 150 acres of land around the stadium for $320 million to a development group headed by Angels owner Arte Moreno. On a 6-1 vote the council voted to release the land.
The final dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s should be on the agenda for the Oct. 6 meeting of the council.
Under the deal, the city would get $150 million in cash, with the first $45 million due in October. Planned are the construction of 466 apartments (worth over $123 million) and a park of about seven acres ($46.2)
The upshot of the deal would be to keep the team in the city for another 30 years, with the possibility of five-year extensions that could stretch that to 2075.
It also has provisions for the renovation or replacement of the stadium, which is now the fourth-oldest in Major League Baseball. Only Fenway Park in Boston, Wrigley Park in Chicago and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles are older.
As envisioned, the stadium’s parking lot would be developed with housing, commercial uses, hotels and office space.