4:25pm: Shaikin adds that the Angels will be in their current stadium through next season but must discuss its future beyond that with the city of Anaheim, which has issued a statement on the decision:
“We look forward to many great years of Angels baseball in Anaheim. We don’t believe there is a better place for the team than in the heart of Orange County’s most exciting city. … As fun as baseball is in Anaheim, this is a reminder that this is still a business. And we understand that the Angels need to preserve all options available. We welcome talking with the team about the future of baseball in Anaheim.”
3:01pm: The Angels announced today that they have opted out of their lease for Angel Stadium, as Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. It remains somewhat unclear precisely when and how the decision will go into effect, and the Halos’ long-term stadium plans remain uncertain.
Indications in early 2017 were that the Angels would remain in the park for the foreseeable future, with owner Arte Moreno noting the club would be able to opt out instead in 2028 or 2038. As he put it at the time, explaining that it would seemingly not be feasible to leave the lease in the near-term:
“It’s going to take some time to get ourselves prepared to see what direction we’re going to go. We have options with the lease, whether we exercise them or not. We really have options all the way through ’38. We have flexibility.”
Instead, it seems now that the long-term location of the franchise is fully on the negotiating table. Beyond that, the decision seemingly poses questions regarding the team’s immediate plans, though perhaps a new, shorter-term lease will be possible.
As Shaikin notes, the decision takes place against the backdrop of a pending mayoral and city council election in Anaheim. A team spokesperson says the ballclub will “sit down with the new mayor and city council” after the election, while noting the team’s intention to “look at all our options.”