The year is 1966. Lyndon B. Johnson is the president and The Mamas & the Papas “California Dreamin” blares all summer long, topping the Billboard 100.
The Los Angeles Angels have settled into their new home in Anaheim after spending their inaugural season in 1961 at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The next four years would entail playing musical chairs with the Los Angeles Dodgers sharing turf at Dodger Stadium.
Angel Stadium is the fourth oldest stadium in baseball, behind Dodger Stadium, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.
Nearly half a century later after passing on the chance to set up shop in Long Beach, the city is once again offering its final rose.
So, will the Angels accept it?
In October 2018, the Angels opted out of its lease at Angel Stadium in Anaheim which would have kept the team in Anaheim throughout 2029.
After the 2018 election, Angels owner Arte Moreno met with new Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu to discuss how to keep the team in Anaheim. The two sides agreed to extend the team’s lease through the 2020 season.
The extension will allow negotiations between Anaheim and the Angels to continue and for the team to exercise all of the its options outside of Anaheim, from Tustin to even Long Beach.
Last week, the city of Long Beach proposed the development of a new ballpark potentially on a waterfront site.
With any new city building project comes the inevitable, funding.
The city estimates construction costs to be around $700 million, nearing close to $1 billion by completion.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement that talks are in the early stages of due diligence and the city is exploring a variety of options for the property.
Talks have included a downtown waterfront development plan that would house parking around the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center area.
According to the Long Beach Post, the proposed lot is roughly 13 acres and is one of the largest underdeveloped parcels of land in downtown Long Beach.
The Angels original owner, the late Gene Autry, originally wanted to settle the Angels in Long Beach but declined when asked by the city for the team to be named the Long Beach Angels.
Over the past 52 years and four name changes, the Angels have called Anaheim home. The Angels since arriving at Angel Stadium have been known as the California Angels (1965-1996), Anaheim Angels (1997-2004), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2005-2015) and currently the Los Angeles Angels.
In 2013, Moreno and the city of Tustin were in negotiation to build a new facility that would seat nearly 37,000 and cost roughly $700 million.
Negotiations fell through before the start of the 2014 season when Moreno and the Angels deemed a brand new stadium would prove to be too pricey. Moreno immediately back peddled to the warning track, declining to pay in full himself.
The Angels have yet to look outside of the Los Angeles area, making Long Beach the most plausible option currently.