The Angels announced Tuesday that they have opted out of their stadium lease with the city of Anaheim, a move that will open the door for the team to explore venue options outside of its longtime home.The Angels will continue to play at Angel Stadium through the 2019 season, but
The Angels announced Tuesday that they have opted out of their stadium lease with the city of Anaheim, a move that will open the door for the team to explore venue options outside of its longtime home.
The Angels will continue to play at Angel Stadium through the 2019 season, but they could choose to leave Anaheim after that if the two sides are unable to negotiate a new lease over the next year. Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey said the team will meet with the new mayor and city council after the Nov. 6 election to discuss options moving forward.
"As we look to the future, we need the ability to continue to deliver a high-quality fan experience beyond what the original lease allows," Angels president John Carpino said in a statement. "It is important that we look at all our options and how we can best serve our fans now and in the future."
Opened in 1966, Angel Stadium is the fourth-oldest stadium in the Majors, behind Fenway Park (1912), Wrigley Field (1914) and Dodger Stadium (1962). Had the Angels not exercised the one-time opt-out clause by Tuesday's deadline, they would have been contractually bound to stay in the city-owned stadium through the 2029 season.
"It's today or 10 years from now," Garvey said. "That really drove the decision."
The Angels previously attempted to negotiate a new lease with Anaheim in 2013 and '16, but talks broke down on both occasions.
"We look forward to many great years of Angels baseball in Anaheim," city of Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster said in a statement. "We don't believe there is a better place for the team than in the heart of Orange County's most exciting city. … As fun as baseball is in Anaheim, this is a reminder that this is still a business. And we understand that the Angels need to preserve all options available. We welcome talking with the team about the future of baseball in Anaheim."
Last spring, when the Angels initially said they planned to stay at Angel Stadium through the 2029 season, owner Arte Moreno said he believed it would take a minimum of three years to acquire another site due to environmental regulations in California. The Angels have explored other ballpark sites around Southern California in recent years, though they have thus far been unsuccessful in securing a new location.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.