Angels agree to one-year stadium lease extension through 2020 as long-term questions linger
The Angels and the city of Anaheim are both exploring stadium options
Back in October the Los Angeles Angels opted out of a lease provision that would've locked them into Angel Stadium through 2029. The move forced long-term ballpark conversations as the club did not have an official home beyond 2019.
Now, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels and the city of Anaheim have agreed to a one-year lease extension that will keep the club in Angel Stadium through 2020. The two sides will use the extra time to explore long-term ballpark possibilities, which include renovations or a new stadium.
Angels owner Arte Moreno released a statement Thursday confirming the lease extension:
Anaheim voters elected a new mayor and new councilmembers in November, and the new administration needs time to familiarize itself with the stadium situation. Here are more details from Shaikin:
In 2013, when the city extended the Angels' deadline to opt out, the city got nothing in return. In exchange for forgoing its right to kick the Angels out of the stadium after the coming season, the city wants to take the extra time to try to integrate the Angels into a vision of developments of residences, shops, restaurants, and breweries in the stadium neighborhood.
"Professional sports are critical to that," city spokesman Mike Lyster said. "We would rather take the time to negotiate an agreement that keeps that vision in mind rather than rushing something through for the sake of a compressed deadline."
The Angels have explored options throughout Southern California for a new ballpark in recent years, and because the team shares territorial rights with the Dodgers, the Halos could move north into Los Angeles County. A new ballpark would require years of planning and construction, of course.
Should the Angels work out arrangements for a new ballpark, the expectation is it would be privately financed by the team. Shaikin says an Angels spokeswoman acknowledged in October that the club considers it unlikely they will find a Southern California city willing to pay for a new stadium.
Angel Stadium opened in 1966 and is the fourth-oldest ballpark in baseball behind Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Dodger Stadium. For now, the Angels and the city of Anaheim have bought themselves some time to agree to a long-term ballpark solution.
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