In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the Anaheim City Council ruled against selling the 150-acre Angel Stadium site to a management company created by Angels owner Arte Moreno. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times and Alicia Robinson of the Orange County Register each had details of last night’s ruling, as well as a summary of what has become a major political story in southern California.
It was almost two and a half years ago that the city of Anaheim reached tentative agreement on a deal that would have sold the Angel Stadium property to Moreno’s SRB Management group for $320MM. Beyond just the ballpark itself, Moreno’s group was looking to heavily develop the area surrounding the stadium, building everything from commercial and retail space to housing and restaurants.
However, the agreement has long been the target of criticism from Anaheim residents and civic officials, and a federal investigation is currently being conducted into alleged corruption, violations of state laws, and insider information being shared as part of the stadium deal. Anaheim mayor Harry Sidhu was personally cited in the investigation, and he resigned his position earlier this week.
Moreno (or representatives from the Angels or SRB) have yet to comment on the council’s ruling. It isn’t clear what the immediate next step could be, though as Shaikin writes, “a long and nasty legal battle” could take place between Moreno and the city of Anaheim over the collapsed deal.
As the situation relates to the Angels, their lease at Angel Stadium runs through the end of the 2029 season, with a club option to extend that lease through 2038. (The land deal included a clause that would have kept the Angels in Anaheim until at least the 2050 season.) Given the issues at play and the chance that Moreno’s group could be battling the city in court for years to come, it remains to be seen if Anaheim will remain the Angels’ long-term home, or if Moreno will start exploring new sites elsewhere in SoCal or the greater Los Angeles area.