Angel Stadium at centre of Big A: 2050 plan

The City of Anaheim has unveiled wide-ranging plans to transform the area around Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels Major League Baseball (MLB) team, into a mixed-use development featuring parks, shops, residential spaces and restaurants.

The project has been dubbed ‘The Big A: 2050’ and would look to keep the Angels in Anaheim for the next 30-plus years. The city has detailed the plans after the Angels agreed last December to buy the publicly-owned Angel Stadium in a deal worth $325m (£260.5m/€288.4m).

The deal, approved by Anaheim City Council, covers the 153 acres including and around the 45,483-seat Angel Stadium. The Angels and the city council began talks in February on second-step agreements for the sale and this month SRB Management Co., which is made up of Angels owner Arte Moreno and his family, submitted a conceptual master site plan for the development.

Part of the land could feature apartments, hotels, homes and entertainment uses over the next 30 years as part of the city’s planning for the Platinum Triangle, which would also incorporate a new entertainment district at Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks NHL ice hockey team. The Los Angeles Times newspaper reports that the Ducks are set to unveil plans for their own district later today (Wednesday).

The proposed development of the Angel Stadium site would see the construction of 5,175 apartments and condominiums, 2.7 million square feet of office space, 1.1 million square feet of retail, restaurants and hotels, a five-acre urban park and 12,500 car parking spaces.

The city has forecasted that between $10m and $20m in yearly city revenue could be recouped from hotel, property and sales taxes. The project could also feature either a new ballpark or a renovation of Angel Stadium, which is one of the oldest venues in MLB having opened in 1966. A new stadium would be built to the east of Angel Stadium alongside the Santa Ana River, but this is set to be explored at a later date.

The city pointed to the recent trend in private ownership of California venues as a reason for agreeing to the sale of Angel Stadium, citing Dodger Stadium, SoFi Stadium and Chase Center as examples. Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors NBA basketball team, was particularly highlighted as a venue that has “revitalised California’s capital city” with its mixed-use development.

Mayor of Anaheim Harry Sidhu said in a statement: “This plan has the potential to bring the great experiences of baseball cities such as San Diego or Chicago to Anaheim. Not only does this proposal speak to our vision for baseball in Anaheim, the investment it represents will help move our city past the economic impacts of coronavirus in years to come.”

Moreno added: “The stadium development plan will realise the vision of the Platinum Triangle decades before the current lease allows. This plan is an important step in creating a driving economic force, while investing in Anaheim’s future.”

The sale of Angel Stadium would also relieve the city of yearly payments towards improvements, which currently stand at $700,000, increasing to $5m through the potential close of a sale in 2025 and $17m through 2038, when the Angels’ current lease ends.

The city would also forego revenue sharing on ticket sales and parking, which stood at $1.3m and $581,200, respectively, after expenses, for the 12 months through June 2019.

Final agreements and plans are set to be brought to the council in September or October, with final approval expected in 2021 or 2022. It is hoped the sale will close as early as 2023 before work can begin in 2025.

Images: City of Anaheim