The City of Anaheim voted in favor of a one-year extension to the Los Angeles Angels‘ stadium lease, giving both sides more time to potentially come up with a long-term solution. The Angels are now scheduled to play in Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, through the 2020 season, as approved by a 5-2 vote in Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
“It is clear to me that the team’s priority is to stay in Anaheim,” Mayor Harry Sidhu said in a statement. “We need a plan to make that happen, and we need time to make that happen. This will give us time to find a deal that benefits our residents, with a goal of keeping baseball in Anaheim for another 50 years or more.”
The Angels have been playing in Angel Stadium since 1966, making it the fourth-oldest ballpark in the major leagues. Since Arte Moreno took over as owner in 2003, the Angels and the New York Yankees are the only teams to sell 3 million tickets each season.
But the Angels and the City of Anaheim haven’t really engaged in dialogue about a long-term plan since 2016. Three years earlier, former Mayor Tom Tait, who completed his final term in December, nixed a proposed deal that involved Moreno paying the $150 million in renovations but being able to lease the surrounding land, and make full profit off future infrastructure, for only $1 per year.
In mid-October, the Angels took advantage of their one-year opt-out provision so they wouldn’t be locked into their lease through 2029, a move that meant the upcoming season might be their last at Angel Stadium. But Sindhu, sworn in last month, met with Moreno last week, and both sides decided that more time would be beneficial, prompting the critical proposal in Tuesday’s meeting.
The Angels are expected to continue exploring other potential new homes throughout Southern California but renovating the current stadium or building a new one in Anaheim are also on the table.
Sindhu has said from the onset that his goal is to keep the Angels in Anaheim.
The city’s release stated that doing so is “central” to the expansion taking place at the nearby Platinum Triangle, an 820-acre mixed-use development site that surrounds Angel Stadium and the nearby Honda Center, home to the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.
“There are only 30 Major League Baseball teams in the nation,” Sindhu said in a statement, “and being home to one is a huge asset to any city.”