There is no place like home.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno got what every sports owner would like to have in the stadium/arena game. Two communities wanting his baseball property. Long Beach, California, which is about 23 miles from Anaheim, was offering Moreno a chance to explore the city’s waterfront area for a stadium. There never was a concrete proposal for a Long Beach stadium, there was no money plan, just a notion that Moreno could be in a position to develop the waterfront property with the stadium as the centerpiece. Moreno also negotiated with Anaheim officials. The deal to use the Anaheim stadium between Moreno and the city was due to end after the 2020 baseball season. In the end, Moreno decided to stay home. On December 20th, Anaheim elected officials could sign a deal which could keep the franchise in Anaheim through 2050. The deal details are sparse.
Long Beach more than a half century ago was in the running to get the Los Angeles Angels franchise as then owner Gene Autry was looking to move out of Dodger Stadium and for a place of his own. In 1964, he found the place in Anaheim near Disneyland. In 1966, Autry moved his team to a community that once featured orange groves and being part of a Jack Benny comedy skit featuring Mel Blanc as a train conductor announcing stops in Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga. A renovated Anaheim Stadium was also the home of the Los Angeles Rams National Football League franchise between 1980 and 1994. Georgia Frontiere took the NFL team to St. Louis in 1995. After the NFL departed, the stadium was reconfigured into a baseball park. In the past Moreno looked at sites in Los Angeles, Carson, Irvine and Tustin. Moreno’s business is not in despair. He has enjoyed 17 consecutive years of drawing three million or more customers. He just wants a modern facility to make more money.