We missed this when it came out a week ago, but Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times recently provided an update on the club’s ballpark and related business development efforts. The global pandemic has obviously introduced some new variables.
The Anaheim City Council agreed to bump back the deadline for owner Arte Moreno to commit fully to a previously agreed-upon deal involving the development of the land surrounding Angel Stadium. The team now has until the end of September to decide; the final call had been due by the end of June.
Under the deal, the Halos will also get to delay a $20MM deposit until the fall, though they’ll have to throw in another $10MM in deposit cash that hadn’t been due until 2023. It certainly seems as if the organization is hoping it’ll be drawing some revenue from the 2020 campaign before it has to act irrevocably.
At the moment, the broad stadium-related business effort is still moving forward. But the Angels are obviously cash-conscious. The club has, as anticipated, decided to institute furloughs. As Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports (subscription link), the Angels will begin sidelining certain employees beginning at the start of June.
Impacted employees will receive benefits through the end of the year and can receive grants from a $1MM fund set up by the team. It’s a bit of a curious arrangement at first glance, but perhaps the reasoning here is to allow those impacted to receive unemployment benefits while still also gathering some support from the organization. There’ll be an impact across the board on the team’s baseball operations, but Ardaya says the minor-league and player development staff will be hit hardest.
Other teams — and, especially, their employees — are no doubt evaluating this move with interest. The Halos obviously aren’t alone here, but it’s particularly notable to see a big-market club making cuts of this kind. The expectation remains that other organizations will make similar moves in the coming days, even as the league attempts to ramp back up towards a 2020 season.