Kind of tough being in denial of the inevitable, isn't it?
Seriously. Unless Anaheim's mayor resigns, a new mayor comes in and is eager to negotiate with Arte Moreno about the land the Angels are currently on, all signs point to the Angels no longer being of Anaheim by the year 2020. Arte has been mum about moving possibilities, though he has made it clear that the team and the city have not negotiated for months. They can opt out of their lease at any point between 2016 and 2019, ending it effective at the end of whichever calendar year they leave.
Recently, I offered a detailed proposal regarding Riverside as a new site for a potential stadium for the Angels. This got me thinking about what other cities could offer the Angels a decent home. Each scenario is unique and different. Please note that I am not advocating or encouraging ANY one particular site; I will play devil's advocate for each site I write about, but will display its positives and negatives.
I currently have five sites selected, including the one we will start with today. I will reveal each one as they are posted. Let's get to it, though! Today, we start with...
NEW ANGELS STADIUM SITE #1: MONTEBELLO, CALIFORNIA
POTENTIAL ADDRESS: 1500 N. MONTEBELLO BOULEVARD
LAND SIZE: 104 ACRES
CURRENT USE: VACANT/OIL DRILLING
Montebello! Home to legendary Angels infielder Bobby Knoop, The Shops at Montebello, a whole ton of drilling rigs...and 104 acres of mostly untouched land in prime stadium space.
A relatively smaller city in Los Angeles County, with a population of just about 63,000, Montebello is just eight and a half miles from downtown Los Angeles--moving Arte and the Angels 25 miles closer, as a matter of fact, to DTLA from their current Anaheim location. Montebello is one of the Gateway Cities, and one of the southwesternmost cities of the San Gabriel Valley.
Currently, sitting across from Montebello Town Square and The Shops at Montebello (two large shopping and dining developments--check that off of Arte's checklist), is 104 acres of open land, some partially used to drill for oil (not unlike much of the open land in Long Beach, another popular fan choice for a new stadium). This land is directly south of State Route 60, about 2 miles west of the interchange with Interstate 605. But just how accessible is it to the public--that is, how many different ways are there to get to this proposed park?
Let's start by car. How many different ways can we get to this Montebello site--I mean, the more ways to get there, the less traffic to be encountered in any one particular exit, right? For example, Angel Stadium is accessibly by State Route 57 at Katella Avenue and Orangewood Avenue, State Route 22 at The City Drive, and Interstate 5 at Katella Avenue and State College Boulevard.
Well, by car, you can get to this Montebello site by:
|Interstate 605||Peck Road (take Peck north, then left on Durfee; Durfee turns into San Gabriel Boulevard)|
|Beverly Boulevard (take Beverly west, then right on N. Montebello Boulevard)|
|State Route 60||Santa Anita Avenue (take Santa Anita south, then right on Durfee; Durfee turns into San Gabriel Boulevard)|
|Rosemead Boulevard/SR-19 (take Rosemead south, then right on San Gabriel Boulevard)|
|San Gabriel Boulevard (take San Gabriel southeast)|
|Paramount Boulevard (take Paramount south)|
Six different exits to get to this site. The site itself, properly, is bonded by Montebello Boulevard at the western and northern sides, Plaza Drive and San Gabriel Boulevard at its northeast, Lincoln Avenue at its east, and the back wall of a housing development at its south, and would likely be addressed as being on Montebello Boulevard, unless a short road was paved leading into the technical site itself (a la Gene Autry Drive off of State College).
Public transit? You can make your own decision here--the nearest Metrolink station (the Montebello/Commerce station on the Riverside line) is about a mile south-southeast, right off of Garfield Avenue (and would require a walk from Garfield to Beverly to Montebello), BUT there are seven Metro bus stops in the immediate vicinity of the lot (and an eighth option if you don't mind crossing the bridge over the 60). So it's a matter of taking the train and walking more, or taking the bus and being right there.
The site is located atop a large hill, so some serious grading would potentially need to be done in order to get a stadium built. In addition, there are several oil rigs present on the site. Now, the easiest option here would be, as has been done in cities such as Walnut, Signal Hill and Long Beach, building around them, if possible (i.e. situating the blueprint to where the stadium is built clear of any rigs, and the parking lot is situated around the rigs, which would be fenced off).
That's really the hinge with this site, though. It's close enough to downtown Los Angeles without being TOO terribly close to Dodger Stadium (a 13-mile drive from the 110 to the 10 to the 60). It's not so horrendously far from the Orange County fan base to where travel is out of the question (unless you either live in San Clemente or are just that apathetic). It's right between shopping and commercial development at its north, and housing at its south. So that's already taken care of. And even if Arte wants so badly to develop his OWN shopping and housing, the space is there. There might be the requirement of parking garages on this site if he wishes to do that, though; the site is about 56 acres smaller than the current site on which Angel Stadium sits. Any stadium itself, though, can be built without being a bandbox (like the plans for Cisco Field in San Jose).
Speaking of the stadium itself, how would naming go about? Do we go with the simple Angel Stadium? Does the team take a classy route and name it after Bobby Knoop, the hometown hero of Montebello? Does the team find a nearby corporate sponsor? Several do exist in the area, such as EverTrust Bank (Industry), Smart & Final (Commerce), Penske Motor Group (El Monte), Vons (Arcadia) and Interscope Records (Santa Monica), not to mention the hundreds of corporations based in Los Angeles, from which Arte could certainly have his pick of the litter. (Somehow, I see Penske being the most profitable; they're the largest auto dealer in the nation. Penske Stadium, home of your Los Angeles Angels!)
TEAM naming? Well, obviously the awkward "of Anaheim" suffix is gone. Los Angeles Angels is a much more feasible option here, though California Angels still has that nostalgic place in my heart and the hearts of many other Angels fans as well.
What do you think: Montebello, the new home of your Angels? If not, perhaps one of the other four sites to come will interest you.