Arte Moreno has dropped the "T"-bomb on Anaheim and I, for one, love the idea. Always have. Always will.
As Rev posted over the weekend, Arte Moreno has had a chat with the City of Tustin, nearby, as an alternate to the current location in Anaheim for a new stadium and office park. As per the Orange County Register, the desired site sits at the corner of Red Hill & Barranca, at the now-abandoned Tustin Lighter Than Air Station that houses the WWII blimp hangars.
Well, as it happens, I drive past that very same corner on my way home from work nearly every weeknight, and I have had that same dream. Over and over again. By special request, here is a re-print of my dream from Rev's original thread (with a few additions):
I dream of being a billionaire owner of the Angels, and I would be on the corner of Red Hill & Barranca like yesterday!!!!
The home plate side of the park would sit closest to the Red Hill Barranca corner with the outfield opening up to the blimp hangars and Saddleback Mountain off in the distance. The setting sun lights the summer mountain face with pinks and oranges and purples, just as the full moon rises above. No other stadium in America has what could be such a signature vista. Instead of an outfield rock pile, beyond the center field fence and acting as the batter’s eye would be a living, historical, orange grove preserve that would flow out and spill onto the land beyond and terminate at one end of a long walking Boulevard that, as with Balboa Park down in San Diego, would host museums, theaters, restaurants, an outdoor concert venue, and gardens (including other orchard preservations such as Pecan, Walnut, Avocado and lemon groves). Above the center of The Boulevard would be a people mover that would connect to a huge parking structure beyond the hangars. The people mover would serve The Boulevard, the stadium and The District.
One hangar, at the other end of The Boulevard, would remain for air and space research, as is happening now. The other would have a multi-story indoor structure built within to preserve it. Here is a profile showing how structures inside would serve the double pruose of structural reinforcement:
Inside the hangar, would be home to:
1) An Exploratorium based on that up in San Francisco,
2) An Air & Space museum dedicated to celebrating SoCal’s and Orange County’s role in the conquest of the skies and the stars.
3) A museum dedicated to space sciences with the largest and finest planetarium in North America.
4) And then, finally, a museum to house Orange County vast treasure of archeological fossils now stored away in warehouses.
The stadium itself would be hidden from the street. Back off from the streets of Red Hil and Barrance, behind long thin stretches of 2-hour parking and tree-lined sidewalks, would be retail shopping and dining pads at street level. Above that, on a second level, would be corporate conference facilities and business centers, with office spaces for permanent corporate tenants. The third and fourth floors would be hotels, one up the first base side and another up the third base side. Between these retail/restaurant/corporate/conference/hotel structures and the stadium itself would be an gap open to the sky, the walls of each side being covered with hanging flora and waterfalls. A few connecting bridges would serve as ticket gates for those using the commercial spaces on the upper floors. And the hanging gardens and waterfalls would cover the street side facades of those same commercial properties. Longer-term parking would exist underneath all this, which would service season ticket and special pass holders, as well as commercial/retail/stadium/team employees.
Ideally, a Disneyland-like monorail would run between the stadium end of The Boulevard people mover and the Tustin Amtrack/Metrolink train station on Edinger. it would run down Red Hill, swing past the outfield, over to The District, also stop briefly at the other end of The Boulevard, serving pedestrians and people mover riders at that end, AND the parking structure (tying that to the train station).
Then, right on the corner of Red Hill and Barranca would be a large marble statue of an angel reaching towards the heavens, standing high above Adenhart Fountain and being the main landmark that anchors the entire land to herald your arrival. The base of the status, encircling the fountain, would be the brass plaques of all the commemorations of Hall of Fame inductees (which, by the way, needs to be more).
Behind the fountain, of course, would be a multi-story rotunda that would be home to the baseball front offices, the radio station, ticket offices, the museum itself, and the team store.
This site is less than 6 miles as the crow flies from the current stadium. Train and bus commuters would be served at the Tustin train station, three more stops down the line when traveling from LA. Southbound drivers would be served by the 5 and 55 freeways (the 5 is pretty harsh southbound around the 55, so this is less than ideal for weeknight games, but the 55 southbound is just fine). Inland Empire drivers would use the 57 south to 22 east to 55 south…or take the 241 south as it turns into 261, then Jamboree Blvd on the east side, nearest where will be the large parking structure.Coastal commuters would use the 405, exiting anywhere from MacAurthur to Jeffrey and going north to work their way on surface streets to the park. the 4 main streets that frame the park (Red Hill, Barrance, Edinger and Jamboree) are huge and wide and move enormous amounts of vehicles Only Reed Hill northbound at rush hour is a beast, but only because it takes overflow from 55 north. Drivers would stop that once they realized that game nights are blocking their alternative. Commuters northbound from the Newport/Costa Mesa area would exit the 55 at the 405, before the 55 clogs up. Those from the Newport Coast/Corona Del Mar area would stick to MacAurthur. But you have 4 wide boulevards surrounded by 4 major freeways feeding an area already apart from all but a little residential noise and lights and congestion issues. Tons of power run right down Barranca now, and they are rebuilding the water and flood control system there already.
The site is also just minutes from South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island, John Wayne Airport, dozens of excellent hotels, and hundreds of outstanding restaurants. And, no, from within the stadium the sound of landing jets to the airport would not heard any more loudly than currently the Disneyland fireworks in the 7th inning.
Arte would reap the rewards of all the commercial spaces at the stadium and along The Boulevard. Plus he would have parking revenue below the stadium. Tustin and the County of Orange would jointly construct the park and museums and transit systems with funding at least partially based on stadium and parking revenues, transit revenues, and retail leases along The Boulevard. And the price that Arte would pay for being gifted the development rights would be as a primary endowment source for the museums and cultural centers, all of which he could write off.
So there it is. My dream, freely given. I enjoy it nightly. Go ahead and indulge. In my mind, Tustin could be a huge win. All one has to do is focus on the Hows instead of the How Nots.