Long Beach has a message to the Angels: Come on down!

Long Beach has a message to the Angels: Come on down!

On Wednesday, within 12 hours of the Anaheim City Council killing the Angel Stadium sale, the city of Long Beach renewed its pitch to attract the Angels.

In 2019, before negotiating the now-doomed agreement with Anaheim, the Angels considered the lure of a waterfront ballpark in Long Beach.

“If the Angels are interested in continuing those initial discussions, Long Beach would reengage in those discussions and seek direction from the City Council,” said a statement issued by the office of the Long Beach city manager.

According to the original proposal, the Long Beach stadium would be built on what is known as the “Elephant Lot,” a 13-acre site where circus elephants used to gather. In 2019, the city and the Angels discussed options for a 55-acre proposal, which would have enabled the team to surround the stadium with some of the same entertainment concepts that had been planned around Angel Stadium.

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In the process, the Long Beach Arena would have been demolished. At the time, the Long Beach City Council authorized negotiations on a land parcel that would have enveloped the ballpark site and included the city’s convention center, performing arts center, arena and a greenbelt between Shoreline Drive and the Pacific Ocean.

The Angels’ current lease in Anaheim expires in 2029, with options to extend their stay there through 2038. The site there is 150 acres, leaving almost three times as much room for development.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Angels owner Arte Moreno and his management company said the team would consider all its options. Those options could include suing the city of Anaheim to try to enforce the land sale there or to pursue damages, playing out the lease in Anaheim, and considering offers from other cities.

“We are disappointed by Anaheim City Council’s action last night regarding the stadium land sale,” spokeswoman Marie Garvey said. “Since the beginning, we have negotiated in good faith, which resulted in a fair deal. We are currently exploring all of our options.”

The complete Long Beach statement:

“In February 2019, Long Beach began preliminary discussions on the potential for a waterfront stadium in Long Beach. Those initial discussions came to a conclusion in December 2019 when the Angels chose to enter exclusive negotiations with the City of Anaheim. The City of Long Beach has long sought to activate the 13-acre Elephant Lot parcel next to the Convention Center for a project that can bring significant community benefit, additional activation of the Downtown waterfront and benefits to the coastal region. All documents from those initial negotiations have been made public, and no negotiations have continued since those initial discussions. If the Angels are interested in continuing those initial discussions, Long Beach would reengage in those discussions and seek direction from the City Council.”

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