A deal to purchase land around the Anaheim Angels’ stadium collapsed under regulatory scrutiny and an FBI investigation — and now the saga may end up changing California law.
State Sen. Tom Umberg introduced legislation that would allow California’s Department of Housing and Community Development to block projects that violate the state’s Surplus Land Act, instead of only being able to levy fines.
- In 2020, the city of Anaheim agreed to sell Angel Stadium and its surrounding parking lots to team owner Arte Moreno in a $320 million deal. Moreno agreed to develop housing and commerce in the area and keep the team in Anaheim through 2050.
- In December, California Attorney General Rob Bonta deemed that the sale illegally circumvented a law that required the city to open the land for bidding, prioritizing affordable housing.
- The city, faced with a choice to pay a $96 million fine or reopen the bidding, chose to end the sale.
The Anaheim Cabal
An FBI probe into the moneyed interests influencing city politics is ongoing.
“The FBI learned that the City of Anaheim was tightly controlled by a small cadre of individuals, including a member of the city’s Chamber of Commerce and mayor Harry Sidhu, FBI special agent Brian Adkins wrote in a May affidavit supporting a search warrant on Sidhu.
Sidhu resigned shortly thereafter on May 23.