Angels walk away from stadium deal with Anaheim

Angels walk away from stadium deal with Anaheim

SEATTLE -- Frustrated by a lack of progress more than a year after both sides ratified an agreement, the Angels ended talks with the city of Anaheim regarding a new lease for their 48-year-old ballpark.

In a letter submitted on Friday, the Angels stated that they will no longer engage in negotiations over a framework deal that was approved by the Anaheim City Council on Sept. 4, 2013, a deal that involved owner Arte Moreno paying an estimated $150 million to refurbish Angel Stadium in exchange for a $1-per-year lease on the surrounding parking lot.

Team spokeswoman Marie Garvey said that the Angels are "going to look at all our options" for a potential new ballpark, while adding that staying in Anaheim is a possibility.

"We stand ready to continue the discussions," interim Anaheim city manager Paul Emery said in a statement. "We believe the Angels will not find a better location, better city partners and, most of all, better fans than here in Anaheim."

The Angels have had several discussions with the city of Tustin, which will hold a closed session on Tuesday to further discuss a potential home for the Angels. The proposed Tustin site would be about eight miles southeast of Anaheim, on land formerly used as a Marine Corps base, according to the Los Angeles Times, which mentioned a site adjacent to the Great Park in Irvine as another alternative.

Another option is located in downtown Los Angeles, on a site adjacent to the Staples Center that is currently proposed for Farmers Field.

"We're looking at all our options," Garvey said, "but our preference is Orange County."

The Angels' lease expires in 2029, but they can walk away at any point from October 2016 to October 2019 with one year's notice. Asked if there is a deadline for finding a long-term destination, Garvey declined to go into specifics, saying, "We have time."

Negotiations had been held up because Anaheim mayor Tom Tait believes the surrounding land is too valuable for Moreno to have developmental rights at such a low price. Tait has suggested that the team and the city split revenues from the surrounding land and commissioned an appraisal of the land in May -- with and without the Angels in it.

The Angels' letter says that the club is "hereby electing to terminate" the framework deal as well as "negotiations pursuant to it," effective in 30 days.

"Our goal from Day One was to ensure a high-quality fan experience well into the future," Garvey said in a statement. "We have spent a lot of time on this MOU [Memorandum of Understanding], and after 12 months, we feel our best course of action is to dissolve this non-binding agreement. We have always appreciated the council members' support for this MOU. We will continue to look at all our options as we determine our next steps."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.