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Angels to extend Tempe Diablo Stadium lease; upgrades on the way

The city of Tempe and the Los Angeles Angels are working out a new Tempe Diablo Stadium lease that will keep the team in Tempe potentially through 2045 with a base term and extensions, with ballpark upgrades on the way for 2022 and beyond.

The upgrades, planned on both the fan and player sides, are planned for two phases, with the first phase of improvements tentatively scheduled for spring training 2022. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city and the Angels is in place after city approval, with the next step a formal Tempe Diablo Stadium lease between the two sides will be negotiated in coming weeks. It could be approved this summer if negotiations go smoothly.

Under the terms of the MOU, the team and city will extend the Diablo Stadium lease through 2035. The Angels could later choose to extend that lease to 2040 or 2045 through lease extensions. Under the new lease terms, the Angels will pay $500,000 annually beginning next year, with payments increasing by 1.8 percent annually. 

Phase 1 of the planned renovation includes a new, three-level building on the third-base side of the ballpark to house a new clubhouse, suites, Angels offices and a team store. This phase is projected to cost $20.9 million–$10 million from the Angels and $10.9 million from Tempe. Design work will begin soon and Phase 1 could be ready for spring training 2022. (In fact, we visited the ballpark last week and prep work for construction has already begun.)

Phase 2 of the renovation includes a new 360-degree outfield concourse, along with more improvements for fans like new shade structures, modernized restrooms and better traffic flow outside the facility. This phase is projected to cost $30 million, which the city and team have proposed through the MOU would come from Tempe through future voter-approved bonds.

Tempe Diablo Stadium opened in 1969 as the new spring home of the expansion Seattle Pilots and then the Milwaukee Brewers when the Pilots moved east. It then hosted Seattle Mariners spring training from the team’s inception in 1977 through 1993. It’s been home to the Angels since the Mariners move.

This story originally appeared in Ballpark Digest.

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