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Halos move press box for new fan seating opportunity

ANAHEIM -- To the delight of fans -- but perhaps to the chagrin of sportswriters -- the low-hanging Angel Stadium press box is relocating to the first-base side in 2013, making way for plush luxury-box seats that will provide ticket-buyers with a premium vantage point next season.

Right above the Diamond Club Lounge that's stationed about 20 rows behind home plate, in the space that used to be reserved for print media at Angels games, is what's now called the Terrace Club, made up of three rows comprising about 80 seats.

And those seats are already selling fast through the club's 10-game plan, which offers eight different packages. Here's what had already been sold as of Tuesday afternoon, per an Angels ticket representative:

• All of Row 1 in Plan C.
• All of Rows 1 and 2 in Plan F.
• All but four seats in Plan E.
• All of Row 1 in Plan G.
• All of Row 1 in Plan H.

Two seats for the 10-game plan -- which includes food and non-alcoholic beverages -- are $3,000 for the third row, $3,500 for the second and $3,900 for the first. Fans can purchase those seats via season-ticket packages, too. They can also wait until individual tickets go on sale Feb. 24, but chances are they'll be gone by then.

With the move, the Angels will join the White Sox as the only Major League club to not have its press box located in the vicinity behind home plate, though a few venues -- like PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Nationals Park in Washington -- have compensated by stationing media members much higher up.

In turn, the Angels spent nearly $1 million converting the Club Level near Section 343 into a new press box and dining-room area, which will be located about 200 feet from home plate. The radio and television broadcast booths, located one level above from the old press box, will remain in place.

The Angels informed Major League Baseball about the move, but didn't necessarily need approval.

"The Angels organization believes it is our responsibility to try to give fans new areas and seating options at Angel Stadium," Angels president John Carpino said in an e-mail. "Angel Stadium is the fourth-oldest stadium in the Major Leagues, completed in 1966, so having a 46-year-old venue presents certain limitations. So we try to be creative as possible to give fans something new and improved each year, both on and off the field."

For the 2007 season, the White Sox converted U.S. Cellular Field's press box into the 212-seat Jim Beam Club, which generated more than $4 million in revenues when sold out. That moved the press box two levels up and along the first-base and right-field line.

"We discussed certain amenities which would be essential in the new press area, and the Chicago White Sox were very helpful," Carpino said.

Sportswriters weren't happy about the move in Chicago, and they don't figure to be pleased in Anaheim, but the added revenue streams have made it an easy trade-off for the two clubs.

Said Carpino: "It gives fans a great opportunity to get quality seats for a portion of the season bought through the team."

Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced a new five-year deal in December to keep as its official secondary ticket market. But the Angels were one of three teams to opt out -- joining the Yankees and Cubs -- and are instead finalizing a new ticket alliance with Ticketmaster.