Long Beach reaches out to LA Angels about team playing at possible waterfront stadium

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The city of Long Beach has reached out to the Los Angeles Angels to explore a possible waterfront stadium, according to Mayor Robert Garcia.

Garcia said in a statement on Monday that as part of their efforts to create a downtown waterfront development plan, they are "exploring the feasibility of a downtown sports venue on the Convention Center parking lot."

Though the city is exploring a variety of options, it has approached the Angels "to express interest and discuss the possibilities of this opportunity."

The mayor added that discussions are ongoing and all is "very preliminary."

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu said in a statement that it's no surprise other cities would try to lure the Angels to leave since having a Major League Baseball franchise is a benefit to any city.

The statement read: "...We are confident that the best place for the Angels is and always will be Anaheim, and the one-year extension we granted gives us the time to work out the details and craft an agreement that benefits our residents and the city."

The idea is getting mixed reaction from Long Beach residents.

"It's all those high-rises by the waterfront, which I live in, that would be a built-in fan base," said resident Lee Moran. "There's an identity of Long Beach much more so than Anaheim, so I think it's a fantastic idea."

Many details would also have to be worked out for a move to Long Beach, including the cost of a new stadium and who would pay for it.

The city would also have to consider events already in place for the site, including the Grand Prix, which runs along Shoreline Drive near the lot.

Others worry about the traffic congestion that would come with a new stadium.

"Imagine bringing in so many people all at the same time, there's not enough to accommodate," said Long Beach resident Matt Jabbari.

The Angels have been playing in Anaheim's Angel Stadium since 1966, making it the fourth-oldest ballpark in the major leagues, and they have made it clear that they want a new facility.

In October, they opted out of their lease with Anaheim so they wouldn't be locked in through 2029, a move that means the upcoming season might be their last at Angel Stadium.

In January, the city of Anaheim voted in favor of a one-year extension to the stadium lease, giving both sides more time to come up with a long-term solution. The Angels are now scheduled to play in Angel Stadium through the 2020 season.

ESPN contributed to this report.
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