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Anaheim plans ‘L.A. Live on steroids’

The City of Anaheim has set its sights on developing an entertainment district described as “L.A. Live on steroids” as it seeks to persuade Major League Baseball team the Los Angeles Angels to stay in the neighbourhood long term.

Last week, the city reached an agreement with the Angels for the team to continue playing at the city-owned Angel Stadium until 2020. The 14-month extension gives it time to discuss a potential long-term lease with the Angels.

The move cancelled out a lease option exercised by the Angels back in October that meant the team would not play in Anaheim after October 2019.

Last November, the city of Anaheim also struck a long-term deal to retain its NHL ice hockey team, the Ducks. The Ducks, which play at the 17,000-seat Honda Center arena, will remain in the city until at least 2048.

The council views the retention of its major league teams as a key factor in building on the vision of the Platinum Triangle, the 820-acre site around Angel Stadium and Honda Center. The project is set to benefit from more than $1bn (£775m/€881m) in current and planned investment to add urban-style homes, restaurants, shops and entertainment spaces.

Anaheim is keen to ensure the Angels extend their stay in the city, which the team has called home since 1966. Discussing Anaheim’s plans for a wide-ranging entertainment complex, John Woodhead, the city’s director of community and economic development, told the Los Angeles Times newspaper: “We really think it can be L.A. Live on steroids.”

L.A. Live is located in downtown Los Angeles, near Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The Times notes that Anaheim has approved a development on behalf of real estate developer LT Global that includes plans for 200 hotel rooms, 340 residences, restaurants and brewpubs. The city is keen for the Angels to play a big role in the project.

“We have the opportunity to introduce spectaculars,” Woodhead added. “One of the inspiration palettes we shared with the Angels depicted a bright entertainment neighbourhood, with all sorts of digital displays, and all sorts of entertainment opportunities and venues.”

The Angels have not yet provided full backing to the plans, but team spokeswoman Marie Garvey hinted at a willingness to engage with the city. “Given the city’s robust vision for the Platinum Triangle, and the presence of the stadium, there is the possibility of significant potential for the surrounding properties,” she said.

Image: City of Anaheim