Report: Angels $320M Stadium Sale off amid Anaheim Mayor's Corruption Probe

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2022

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - MAY 22:  An exterior view of Angel Stadium of Anaheim before a game between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels on May 22, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Anaheim City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to void the city's deal to sell Angel Stadium to Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno.

The Orange County Register's Alicia Robinson noted the Angels still have a lease at Angel Stadium through 2029.

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu resigned earlier on Tuesday amid an FBI investigation into allegations he leaked information about the sale of Angel Stadium to the team and sought a $1 million campaign donation to finalize the deal.

The Angels agreed to buy the stadium for $320 million.

Sidhu has yet to be charged with any crime, and his lawyer, Paul S. Meyer, issued a statement on his client's behalf: "Mayor Harry Sidhu has always, as his foremost priority, acted in the best interests of the City of Anaheim, and he does so today."

Per Robinson, Meyer also denied the allegation that Sidhu leaked any inside information or attempted to collect an illicit campaign payment.

Angel Stadium, which opened in 1966, is owned by the city of Anaheim.

In December 2019, the Anaheim City Council approved an agreement to sell the stadium to a company owned by Moreno. The city council advanced negotiations in September 2020, voting in favor of a plan to sell 150 acres and the venue to SRB Management for $150 million.

Critics questioned whether the overall $320 million price tag represented fair value to the city. Jose Moreno, a council member who voted against the September 2020 agreements, said one appraisal commissioned by the city said the land would be worth $500 million if Angel Stadium were demolished entirely.

In April, officials from Anaheim and the state of California reached an agreement regarding affordable housing that was included in the stadium sale, which seemed to represent the final hurdle for the city and the Angels.

That's no longer the case.

"The stadium proposal was evaluated and approved on its merits," Mayor Pro Tem Trevor O’Neil said of the situation. "However knowing that there may have been an element of corruption that brought the final product to us, we cannot move forward in good conscience."