The Anaheim City Council this evening voted 6-1 to accelerate development of the Angel Stadium site, in an action that will advance submittal of the stadium site development plan and put $10 million into city coffers more than year early.

In December 2019, the Anaheim City Council approved an agreement under which the Angels agreed to stay in Anaheim until at least 2050, while an Arte Moreno-led partnership SRB Management would purchase the stadium and surrounding property from the city for the market rate price of $350 million. Mayor Harry Sidhu, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Faessel, and Councilmembers Jordan Brandman, Lucille Kring and Trevor O’Neil supported the agreement, while Councilmembers Jose F. Moreno and Denise Barnes opposed it.

The gist of the council’s actions:

  • Accelerate $10 million payment to the city by SRB Management
  • Advance submittal of Master Site Plan by SRB Management to May 30, 2020.
  • Give SRB Management an additional 90 days to complete inspection of the stadium site.

The agreement establishes a series of milestones, including a series of deposit payments and submittal of a master development plan for the site.

The longest milestone was SRB Management’s submittal of its Master Site Plan – which lays out the various sports/entertainment/retail/residential uses envisioned for this massive project. Rather than a 2021-2023 timeframe, the site plan will be given to the city by May 30, 2020.

At the same time, SRB’s payment to the city of the Third Deposit of $10 million will be moved up to October, 2020 – as much as three years ahead of schedule. It will be combined with the Second Deposit – meaning that by the end of September, SRB Management will pay the city a total of 20 million badly needed dollars.

“We don’t call the Angels the Angels,” said Councilwoman Lucille Kring. “They are angels on our shoulders.”

Even District 1 Councilmember Denise Barnes, traditionally antagonistic toward the stadium agreement, applauded the acceleration of $10 million payment.

Jose F. Moreno: lone “no” vote on speeding up $10 million payment to the city.

Unsurprisingly, Councilmember Jose F. Moreno refused to be beguiled by good news. Moreno is making opposition to the Angels agreement a central plank in his campaign to seize control of the city council in November. In finest glass-half-empty fashion, the Chicano Studies professor downplayed the goodwill being displayed by the Angels. He opined the accelerated $10 million payment wasn’t really a big deal because he thinks team owner Arte Moreno could write that check any time.

Moreno assured Mayor Harry Sidhu he would not use the item as an opportunity to re-litigate the entire deal – and then proceeded to re-litigate it. Ultimately, Moreno was cast the lone “no” vote against putting $10 million into the city’s hands a year early, and accelerating the development of a project that will put hundreds of millions into city coffers.