Anaheim’s City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to void a 2020 agreement to sell Angel Stadium of Anaheim and see development around it.
The vote follows the May 16 notice of a federal investigation into former mayor Harry Sidhu stemming from actions he may have taken related to the stadium site proposal. Sidhu resigned as mayor on Monday.
“The stadium proposal was evaluated and approved on its merits,” said Mayor Pro Tem Trevor O’Neil, who is handling the duties of mayor per Anaheim’s city charter. “However knowing that there may have been an element of corruption that brought the final product to us, we cannot move forward in good conscience.”
The action directs the city attorney to immediately void the stadium site sale and notify buyer SRB Management LLC, made up of Angels Baseball owner Arte Moreno and family.
Anaheim notified SRB Management of the City Council decision on Wednesday.
“In the best interests of the Angels and the residents of Anaheim, the city believes the [purchase and sale agreement] is void as a matter of law and public policy,” the letter reads. “Given these extraordinary and deeply disturbing circumstances, the city requests that SRB and the Angels join with the city in acknowledging that the PSA is void.”
The Council action would also start a legal process that will involve filing a motion for declaratory judgment in Orange County Superior Court based on concerns of conflict of interest and that the transaction was not at arm’s length.
The Council action also ends a process that started with 2019 negotiations and resulted in a set of agreements approved in September and October 2020.
The agreements had called for selling the city-owned stadium and 151 acres of land for $320 million, paid partly in cash and partly as affordable housing and a park built on the stadium site.
Updated sale and development agreements, reflecting a now-paused settlement with the state of California related to issues raised about the Surplus Land Act, were expected to go before the City Council in June in what would have been the final step before the close of a stadium site sale.
Based on the City Council’s action, the city will no longer take action to sell the stadium and develop the surrounding land as previously approved.
A lease for the Angels to play at Angel Stadium continues through 2029 with three three-year extensions though 2038.