The city of Anaheim is getting aggressive when it comes to keeping the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, as an opportunity for the team to opt out of their lease is approaching.
Mayor Harry Sidhu announced Tuesday his commitment to make it happen moments before City Council was set to discuss plans for the negotiations to keep the Major League Baseball team in place.
Sidhu is part of a city team that will begin negotiating with the Angels in October with the hopes of reaching a long-term agreement that would keep the Angels in Anaheim and potentially develop some or all of the 155 acres of city-owned land surrounding the existing stadium.
The development could look something like L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, with a mix of urban-style homes, restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
Sidhu said that land would be sold at fair market prices, if sold at all.
"I think it would be great to make other things nearby to make it kind of a central hub zone for people to go and entertain but, not living nearby, I imagine if I lived close by, no I wouldn't want the traffic," said Angels fan Mitch Wolf.
Discussions will include making significant improvements to the stadium or perhaps building a new stadium. Earlier this year, the city of Long Beach offered to build the Angels a new waterfront stadium, however Anaheim officials say they are willing to negotiate a deal that would be a win-win for the city and the team.
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 2018, they opted out of their lease with Anaheim so they wouldn't be locked in through 2029.
In January of this year, 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 scheduled to play in Angel Stadium through the 2020 season.
Los Angeles Angels: Negotiation efforts gearing up to keep team in Anaheim