Amid signs the Angels and the city of Anaheim could be closing in on a deal to turn the land surrounding Angel Stadium into an entertainment destination, the city is about to disclose just how much it believes the land is worth.
The public will find out Wednesday, four weeks before the Angels face a deadline to opt out of their stadium lease or remain bound to it through 2029.
Anaheim City Councilman Jose Moreno said he believes the appraisal is being released because the city and the Angels are close to agreement on a new lease.
“That’s a signal to the public a deal is imminent,” Moreno said.
Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey declined comment. Mike Lyster, the city spokesman, declined to say whether a deal with the Angels is either in place or imminent.
“Nothing to share today,” Lyster said.
When Anaheim reached a similar deal with the Ducks last winter, the city released the appraisal — and the final agreements — in the week before the council voted to approve them.
The last regularly scheduled council meeting this year takes place Dec. 17, and a vote that day would mean a new Angels lease would have to be completed and disclosed no later than next week.
With the city’s mayor insisting that the Angels pay fair-market rates to buy or lease any land, the appraisal is critical. In 2013, the city proposed leasing the land to Angels owner Arte Moreno for $1 per year. That deal collapsed, amid a 2014 appraisal that valued the land at $225 million to $325 million.
The Angels have said they are “100% focused on Anaheim,” and they hold the power to decide by Dec. 31 whether they stay under the terms of the current lease or negotiate a new one.
Neither the city nor the Angels have disclosed details of negotiations that both sides say did not start until last month, and the city council minority has expressed concern that a tight time frame could lead to a rushed deal.
The city council authorized the current appraisal of the 155-acre property in November 2018, one month after the Angels invoked a previous opt-out clause. The property includes the stadium, parking lots and a theater, the City National Grove of Anaheim. The council directed the city staff to make the appraisal “available to the both the public and Council” but did not specify when.
The city signed a contract with an appraiser last April, directing him to value the land with and without the Angels. If the Angels were to leave, the appraiser was ordered to value the land as if the stadium would be demolished.
The council received his report in September, with the majority twice declining to release the appraisal in advance of negotiations with the Angels. On Tuesday, with negotiators having met on multiple occasions, city manager Chris Zapata said the appraisal would be released Wednesday.