Long Beach Wants Another Chance At MLB’s Angels

The city has twice struck out in attempting to land the team.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno could be looking for a new site for his business now that the Anaheim city council has blown up his deal with the city to take over the Angels stadium property. If Moreno cannot get a new deal done, Long Beach, California is ready to provide him with a stadium site. Long Beach, which is about 23 miles from Anaheim, had offered Moreno a chance to look at the city’s waterfront area for a stadium in 2019 when Moreno was exploring various areas to relocate his business. There was no 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 ballpark as the centerpiece. Angels executives and Anaheim elected officials did get a deal done to keep the business in the city.

Fifty-eight years ago, Long Beach was in the running to get the Los Angeles Angels franchise as then owner Gene Autry was looking to move out of Dodger Stadium 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 was part of a Jack Benny comedy skit featuring Mel Blanc as a train conductor announcing stops in Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga. Anaheim was also the home of the Los Angeles Rams National Football League franchise between 1980 and 1994. Georgia Frontiere took the NFL team to her hometown St. Louis in 1995. Anaheim downsized the stadium after the city could not get a team to replace the NFL Rams. Moreno’s business is not in despair. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Moreno’s Angels had 17 consecutive years of drawing three million or more customers.

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Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno, left, shakes hands with center fielder Mike Trout during a news conference to talk about Trout’s 12-year, $426.5 million contract, prior to the team’s exhibition baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)