California’s state housing agency declared the sale of Angel Stadium illegal on Wednesday for not following the Surplus Land Act, in which public land should first be offered to affordable housing developers.
The Anaheim City Council sold the stadium — home of the Los Angeles Angels — and the 150 acres around it for a total of $320 million to a new company started by team owner Arte Moreno, who reportedly agreed to keep the team in Anaheim until at least 2050 as part of the deal.
The cost included $150 million to the city and $170 million for affordable housing and a seven-acre park.
Illegality of the Stadium’s Sale
The sale was declared illegal because the city did not properly classify the land as surplus — make it available to other developers — or notify the agency of availability or negotiations.
- The deal was only spoken about publicly in two meetings before being approved.
- A citizens group has sued the city, accusing it of violating state transparency laws.
- Assemblyman and former Anaheim mayor Tom Daly wrote at the time of the sale, “… this is a massive, historic giveaway costing at least $1,000 for every man, woman, and child in the city.”
Anaheim argues that the land is not considered surplus, as it was initially intended for the ballpark.
The state housing agency says the city of Anaheim has 60 days to redo the deal or allow bids on the land. The Angels control development on the site until at least 2038.