The collapse of Anaheim’s deal to sell Angel Stadium to Angels owner Arte Moreno appears likely to end without going to court.
Officials with SRB Management, the partnership that Moreno formed to buy the stadium’s 150-acre site, told the city late Friday that they would not resist the city council’s decision Tuesday to cancel the deal.
“For nearly a decade, Angels Baseball has been working with the city to be able to continue to provide a quality fan experience at Angel Stadium and to create certainty about the team’s future at Anaheim,” Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey said in a statement. .
She said: “There has been a lot of misinformation and falsehoods coming out during this process and we want to be clear, we negotiated in good faith with all elected officials and city employees and created a fair deal that was good for Anaheim and Angels Baseball.” . “Given that the City Council voted unanimously to rescind the grounds agreement, we believe it is in the best interest of our fans, baseball angels and the community to accept the City’s cancellation.
“Now we will continue to focus on our fans and the baseball season.”
It was not clear earlier this week whether the city or SRB would sue over the termination of the deal. The sale agreement allowed SRB to seek up to $5 million in addition to legal costs if the city defaulted.
The revelation last week that Mayor Harry Seydoux, who led the stadium negotiations, is subject to a federal investigation into allegations of corruption, in part related to the sale, led to criticism that the deal was “tainted”. Seydoux has not been charged with a crime.
Seydoux resigned on Tuesday, and that night the city council voted to end the deal. On Wednesday, the city asked the SRB to agree that the deal was void.
“We welcome the angels and thank them for their mutual understanding of what is needed at this moment,” Anaheim Pro Mayor Tim Trevor O’Neill said in a statement. “This is the right thing to do.”
The now-closed deal would have sold the stadium and surrounding land for $320 million, about $170 million of which could have been returned to the buyer to develop community benefits including 466 affordable housing units.
The city has also been competing with state housing officials, who announced in December that Anaheim had violated the Affordable Housing Act that requires low-income housing developers to be given the opportunity to apply for surplus land. The city has long opposed that the law applies to the sale of stadiums; The two sides reached a settlement that was close to being finalized by a High Court judge in the High Court of Justice before the investigations were announced.
The SRB statement did not address whether Moreno was interested in returning to the negotiating table, but O’Neill said the city might be.
“The long-term plan for the stadium and baseball site in Anaheim are still opportunities that we want to explore,” he said. “We will continue to work to get through this moment while opening the door for a fresh start when the time is right.”
The current stadium lease agreement remains in effect and runs through 2029; Includes optional extensions through 2038.