My friends at the OJ blog like to deride me about the “business of baseball.” And in this case, the news is bitter sweet. The Angels have informed the city of Anaheim that they are opting out of their lease. There have a number of options including playing home games at Dodger Stadium, as they have done before, or seeking a new location in SoCal. They are not likely to get public financing for a new stadium, but the site in Carson previously approved for a football stadium for the Chargers and Raiders appears to be a possible spot.
Here’s the story from the LA Times:
Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey said the decision to opt out was not meant to influence voters. She said the lease required the team to opt out no later than Tuesday or wait until 2028 for another chance to do so.
“It’s today, or 10 years from now,” Garvey said. “There’s no option in between.”
Garvey would not say whether remaining in Anaheim was the Angels’ first choice.
The Angels ended negotiations with Anaheim in 2014, then revived them briefly in 2016. They explored options for new ballparks in Los Angeles, Carson and Irvine, but prioritized a proposal for a new stadium in Tustin because of its proximity to their current home and fan base.
The sides are believed to have focused on a stadium that would have seated about 37,000 and cost about $700 million. Tustin officials said then that they would not provide taxpayer funding for stadium construction.
Moreno said last year that the team would play at Angel Stadium until the lease ends in 2029.
“We look forward to many great years of Angels baseball in Anaheim,” the city statement said. “We don’t believe there is a better place for the team than in the heart of Orange County’s most exciting city.…
“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. We welcome talking with the team about the future of baseball in Anaheim.”
By exercising the opt-out clause, the Angels can leave Angel Stadium after the 2019 season. The city and team would have to negotiate what might happen beyond next season.