When the news came out today that the LA Angels have opted out of their lease with the city of Anaheim for Angel Stadium. Some people were alarmed, but let’s look at it more closely.
Today was the last day the LA Angels could opt out of their lease at Angel Stadium until 2028. If the Angels had not done so they would have been locked in to playing at Angel Stadium for the next 10 years. Does this mean they are going to leave Angel Stadium or the city of Anaheim? Maybe.
This is a negotiation process between Arte Moreno and the city of Anaheim. The stadium is the fourth oldest in baseball only behind Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and Didger Stadium as Angel Stadium is 52 years old. The ANgels have done multiple renovations to the park multiple times in those 52 years. The first renovation game in the early 80’s when the Rams came to play in Anaheim the stadium was expanded by enclosing it and adding 25,000 seats.
Once the Rams left in 1995 the Angels decided to switch the stadium back to more of a baseball friendly park. Some of the extra seats in left and right field adding a rock pile with a fountain which fireworks can shoot out of. Then they added the diamond club section and changed where the press box was.
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Even with all the renovations including new LED scoreboards in left and right field the stadium still has a lot of things that are archaic in baseball standards. The fans don’t seem to care as they are still flocking to the stadium in droves. This season marked the 16th consecutive year that the Angels drew over three million fans. However with all the new stadiums around in baseball the Angels are hoping to get with the times.
So will they move from Angel Stadium possibly. The Angels could try to find land near the current stadium and build a new stadium. They could also explore other options that are nearby to Angel Stadium. I don’t see the Angels moving to LA like some people have suggested building a stadium near the new Rams complex in Inglewood.
If the Angels move anywhere it will almost assuredly be somewhere in Orange County. If the Angels are smart they will not move far from their best fan base in the Anaheim area. If the Angels moved to LA County they would love some of their fans and the backlash would be extreme. So more than likely they will be smarter than that.
However, Arte Moreno may be calling the city of Anaheim’s bluff. We will see how things turnout.