Angel owners Gene and Jackie Autry will learn soon exactly how much it could cost them to have the baseball-only stadium they say they need to build and operate in a joint venture with the city of Anaheim.
City officials again assured Angel President Richard Brown in a meeting Thursday that they want to build the facility despite Orange County's financial crisis. Now Brown will take a proposal back to the Autrys, who could respond to Anaheim officials by next week. Once the Autrys approve the plan, city council approval would be the next step.
"If it is built, it won't be built for and paid by the city," Brown said. "The Angels will have to come up with a lot of dollars, primarily by sharing revenues that we normally don't share."
The city's latest proposal also indicates the stadium wouldn't be ready until the 1999 season, a year later than originally hoped.
"It might still be ready in time for 1998, but 1999 looks better," said Brown, who met with city officials for 90 minutes to narrow the differences between the Angels and Anaheim.
"We cleared 12-13 more issues--some very important, some minor," Brown said. "We haven't resolved all of them, but we are closer."
Negotiators once had hoped to seek city council approval by mid-December, but the county financial crisis took precedence over further talks. Thursday's meeting was the first in about five weeks, Brown said.
Greg Smith, Anaheim Stadium general manager, confirmed that the city was seeking bids from architects for a facility to seat between 42,000 and 45,000. HOK, the Kansas City firm that designed the Angels' spring training stadium in Tempe, Ariz., is expected to be among the bidders.