How would you like to see the Angels do something unusual, yet practical, and still stay in the Los Angeles market?
Montebello seems like it already did that, but in a very saturated area. Long Beach may seem the ideal choice--and keeps the Angels connected to LA--but the land is questionable. Irvine has the land for sure, but pulls the team further away from Los Angeles (in fact, putting the team just as close to Oceanside as it would be to LA). Las Vegas, too, completely eliminates the Angels from the LA market, even if it offers an untapped major league market for any sport.
Really, what other options do the Angels have?
Well, the team could take the path that the Braves are taking. The Braves, frustrated with a similar situation with the city of Atlanta (though the particulars are different, the issue is the same: team/city were at an impasse), decided to build a brand new stadium, on the outskirts of Atlanta in the community of Cumberland. Cumberland is what you might call an "edge city" or a "boomburb", a fast-growing suburban community which serves as something of a commuter town.
Now, the problem in executing a similar plan is that Los Angeles and Atlanta are shaped FAR differently in terms of geography, topography and transportation. Cumberland is approximately ten miles northwest of downtown Atlanta, which is situated in much flatter land than Los Angeles is. LA, with many hills, mountains and valleys to traverse, doesn't have a lot of room to develop in a realistic ten mile "radius", when considering ten miles driven.
Ten miles as the crow flies, however? Bit of a different story.
Well, maybe not entirely. Los Angeles encompasses a TON of geographic area, so ten miles northwest of downtown, as the crow flies, is...still Los Angeles, more towards the Northridge/Van Nuys area. So we expand our radius to...let's say TWENTY miles of Los Angeles, as the crow flies. From the center of Los Angeles--not downtown, which is situated much more southerly than the rest of the city, but more near Valley Village at the junction of US-101/SR-134/SR-170--we have a lot more land to look at within a twenty mile crow's radius. Including that which we'll discuss today.
Go northwest, young man.
NEW ANGELS STADIUM SITE #5: SANTA CLARITA, CALIFORNIA
POTENTIAL ADDRESS: 28300 HENRY MAYO DRIVE (STATE ROUTE 126)
LAND SIZE: 82 ACRES
CURRENT USE: VACANT/FARMING?
Located at the northwestern edge of Santa Clarita (just to the west of a large hill that boasts Six Flags Magic Mountain on its eastern side), about a mile west of Interstate 5, all along SR-126 there is a TON of open land. Much of it is in unincorporated portions of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, though as you draw within a couple of miles of I-5, it's technically Santa Clarita land. An additional 30 acres is located far closer to I-5, on The Old Road, but is too small of a site for the grand vision which Arte Moreno has; however, if he were looking solely to build a stadium, without the shopping/office space/housing/entertainment, it could work, especially since the entertainment (Magic Mountain) and shopping (Westfield Valencia Town Center) are already within a mile of that site.
Anyway, more on the option in front of us.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim was built in Anaheim, when Anaheim itself was a mere edge city of larger metropolises such as Long Beach and Los Angeles--in fact, bearing very similar population totals to the present-day totals of Santa Clarita. Though no slouch of its own when the stadium opened in 1965, with Disneyland serving as a major boon to city growth, the site on which the field sits was much farming and open fields (if you don't believe me, see the cover photo on the Halos Heaven Facebook page).
Santa Clarita now is very much what 1965 Anaheim was: a city with a moderately large populace, unusual boundaries, a theme park anchoring its initial growth spurt, and a lot of open land to develop and help the city grow further into a commercial center of its own right.
The one problem with this site is foreseeable, and let me give it to you here...
|Interstate 5||SR-126 west|
|The Old Road northwest, left on SR-126|
Only two ways to get to this site--and you know what that means. Traffic GALORE. As if I-5 through Santa Clarita in the evening isn't nightmarish enough (not quite 91 eastbound bad, but still quite bad), now imagine Angels traffic with it. Building a stadium and surrounding developments here is going to take the development of additional transportation--and in terms of public transportation, almost none exists west of Interstate 5. Getting to games by car or by foot from downtown Santa Clarita appear to be the only two options.
One interesting angle for public transit: The Antelope Valley Transit Association (AVTA) just began providing bus service to the Santa Clarita Valley, and there are both Metrolink and Amtrak stations in the city. The bus service could very likely be extended to this location if a stadium were to be built here (not the most impossible thing in the world), but the Metrolink and Amtrak services are both anchored much closer to the eastern boundary of the city (towards SR-14), as opposed to the western side of the city (towards I-5), where the stadium site is. So in defense of this idea, there could potentially be bus service on this side of town if this were to happen.
But the land! The land is just so appealing, isn't it?
There's tons of open land, and Arte could purchase even more of it for further development of housing or shopping (beyond the given acreage) if he wanted to. A burgeoning city like Santa Clarita, which is almost always growing, would probably not object to an idea like this.
Do YOU object to an idea like this, though? We'll still have a couple more sites in the near future to discuss, but let's take a poll to review the options thus far, and discuss away.