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Feel Free to Ignore ‘Angels to Long Beach’ Speculation

February 26th, 2019 · No Comments · Angels, Baseball, Dodgers, Long Beach

The Los Angeles Angels play at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Doesn’t mean they really want to.

Also doesn’t mean they will be moving somewhere else anytime soon.

Why are we talking about this? Because the mayor of Long Beach says the seaside city is in talks with the Angels about the club relocating to a seaside parcel about 25 miles west of the Angels’ current home, where they have played since 1965.

The Long Beach Post, an online-only “newspaper”, was the first to move — Monday night — onĀ  a formal statement from the city’s mayor, Robert Garcia, who said: “We are in the early stages of our due diligence and are exploring a variety of options for this property,” referring to a 13-acre parking lot next to the Long Beach Arena. “We have approached the Angels to express our interest and discuss the possibilities of this opportunity.”

The Angels feel as if Anaheim should not give all its governmental love and attention to Disneyland, which is the Dumbo-in-the-room when it comes to city business priorities.

Angels owner Arte Moreno signaled his less-than-pleased feelings towards Anaheim when, late last year, he opted out of a lease that would have tied the Angels to the Orange County city through the 2029 season. Instead, a one-year lease extension through 2020 means the Angels could, in theory, play the 2021 season somewhere else.

Like, perhaps, Long Beach, self-styled International City?

Realistically? No. Not at all. Something that will never happen. But might be fun to muse about.

Let’s run down a list of reasons why Long Beach and the Angels … Just Doesn’t Work.

–Traffic.

–Traffic.

–Traffic.

I am a native of Long Beach, and traveling to the beach in Long Beach is not a simple proposition. At all. Only one freeway, the notorious, often deadly, semi-trailer-jammed 710, goes anywhere near the downtown chunk of land that is up for discussion. Long Beach would be threatened with miles of gridlock any time the Angels had a game. Approaching the notional Long Beach stadium from the east (405 freeway) or west (the 22) would involve long stretches on surface streets. (The only way to approach the stadium from the south would be via the Pacific Ocean.)

–The Blue Line, which is part of the MetroLink system, terminates not terribly far from the seaside site, but I lived near the Blue Line for a few years and used it occasionally (to Staples Center, mostly) and found it to be remarkably slow as well as a sort of moving shelter for some of the area’s numerous homeless people.

–Expense. Figure $1 billion for a 40,000-capacity seaside Long Beach stadium. Who is going to pay for that? Baseball owners expect cities to pay for building ballparks and have since Walter O’Malley opened his own wallet to erect Dodger Stadium just the other day — in 1961.

–Government red tape. Even if Long Beach found $1 billion under the city-hall couch cushions, current laws make building a project of that sort very, very difficult. The California Coastal Commission, among many other governmental entities, would have its say about what happens to those 13 acres of waterfront property.

–Parking. If those 13 acres of parking (currently) turn into a ballpark … Long Beach will have big problems finding sufficient parking for fans.

So, those are four big issues, but we could quickly add more.

Where would the Angels play, while waiting for a Long Beach stadium to be constructed? … the likely demise of the Long Beach Grand Prix, an IndyCar street race, currently contested in April around around the area in question … the environmental impact in an area close to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, an area with bad air … the fact that Long Beach has a reputation for being dangerous, in more than a few parts of town … the possibility the Dodgers could have some say in any Angels move that brings them closer to Dodger Stadium … Long Beach’s stated desire to be the most cyclist-friendly city around …

Just FYI: Long Beach has some history in trying to attract the Angels. In 1963, some serious talks were conducted, but Long Beach refused to budge on the name of the team: It wanted “Long Beach Angels”, and the Angels did not.

So talking about it … the Angels in a seaside stadium …

A bit of fantasizing, a flight of fancy, no harm done.

It won’t happen.

Consider it a bit of Arte Moreno “just saying” that Anaheim should not take its ball team, 2002 World Series champions, for granted. And Long Beach reveling in a few minutes of “we got a meeting with Arte Moreno.”

Oh, and one last thing. If “Dumbo” is Disney and also the elephant in the room, when Anaheim politicians meet … it should be noted that the parcel in Long Beach under discussion for years has been known in Long Beach as the “elephant lot” — because the Ringling Bros. Circus used to set up its tents there for annual visits.

It may as well be the white-elephant lot, when it comes to the Angels ever playing there.

 

 

 

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