Angels Owner Agrees To Void Stadium Deal With Anaheim
Angels owner Arte Moreno has agreed to cancel a deal to buy the stadium from the city of Anaheim.
“Given that the City Council unanimously voted to cancel the stadium land agreement, we believe it is the best interest of our fans, Angels Baseball, and the community to accept the City’s cancellation," the team said in a statement. "Now we will continue our focus on our fans and the baseball season.”
The decision to walk away from the $325 million deal avoids a potentially lengthy court battle over a deal that's now at the center of a federal corruption probe. The Angels and owner Arte Moreno had previously given the city of Anaheim a June 14 deadline to close the deal.
Anaheim City Council members had voted unanimously on Tuesday to stop the sale. The agreement has been mired by an FBI investigation into the city's former mayor, Harry Sidhu, who resigned Monday.
Sidhu is accused of giving confidential information to the team during negotiations with the city in exchange for future campaign contributions. He has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with with a crime.
A development company started by Moreno has been trying to buy Angel Stadium for years with the plan to build a large business development around it.
The tensions are clear in what else the Angels said in their statement announcing the end of the current deal:
For almost a decade now, Angels Baseball has been working with the city to be able to continue to deliver a high-quality fan experience at Angel Stadium and create certainty on the team’s future in Anaheim. There has been a lot of misinformation and falsehoods stated throughout this process and we want to be clear: we negotiated in good faith with all elected officials and City staff and created a fair deal that was good for Anaheim and Angels Baseball.
Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem O'Neil, in a statement, called the Angels decision "the right thing to do."
"We welcome and thank the Angels for their mutual understanding of what is called for in this moment," O'Neil said. "But a long-term plan for the stadium site and baseball in Anaheim are still opportunities we want to explore. We will continue working to get past this moment with the door open for a fresh start when the time is right."