Angel Stadium of Anaheim


Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Infobox_Baseball_Stadium
stadium_name = Angel Stadium of Anaheim
nickname = "The Big A"


location = 2000 Gene Autry Way
Anaheim, California 92806
broke_ground = August 31, 1964
opened = April 19, 1966
closed =
demolished =
owner = The City of Anaheim
operator = Angels Baseball LP
surface = Grass
construction_cost = $24 million
$118 million (1997–1999 renovations)
architect = HOK Sport and Walt Disney Imagineering (Renovations)
former_names = Anaheim Stadium (1997)
Edison International Field of Anaheim (2003)
tenants = Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (MLB) (1966–present)
Southern California Sun (WFL) (1974–1975)
Los Angeles Rams (NFL) (1980–1994)
Freedom Bowl (NCAA) (1984–1994)
California Surf (NASL) (1978–1981)
seating_capacity = 43,000 (1966)
64,593 (1979)
45,050 (2005)
dimensions = Left Field - 330 ft (100.5 m)
Left-Center - 387 ft (118.0 m)
Center Field - 400 ft (121.9 m)
Right-Center - 370 ft (112.8 m)
Right-Center (shallow) - 365 ft (111.3 m)
Right Field - 330 ft (100.5 m)
Backstop - 60.5 ft (18.4 m)

Angel Stadium of Anaheim (originally Anaheim Stadium and later Edison International Field of Anaheim) is a modern-style ballpark located in Anaheim, California. It is the home ballpark to Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of the American League, and was previously home to the NFL's Los Angeles Rams (now St. Louis Rams). The stadium is often referred to by its unofficial nickname The Big A.

Angel Stadium and its surrounding parking lot are roughly bounded by Katella Avenue to the north, the Orange Freeway to the east, Orangewood Avenue to the south, and State College Boulevard to the west. Located near the eastern boundary of the parking lot is the landmark "Big A" sign and electronic marquee, which originally served as a scoreboard support. The halo located near the top of the 23-story, 210-ton sign is illuminated following games in which the Angels win, which gives rise to the fan expression, "Light up the Halo!"

To the north, a train station servicing Metrolink's Orange County Line and Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner, is located on the edge of the stadium's parking lot. The station provides convenient access to the stadium, the nearby Honda Center, and Disneyland from various communities along the route, which links San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The track is owned by the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Aside from professional baseball and football, Angel Stadium has hosted high school and college football games, National Football League pre-season games, the short-lived World Football League, two crusades by evangelist Billy Graham, nearly twenty consecutive annual crusades by evangelist Greg Laurie, and musical concerts featuring such acts as the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Madonna. An urban legend that persists, although it has never been proved, has it that marijuana seeds left on the outfield grass by concert-goers sprouted into full-grown plants which had to be uprooted and destroyed by ground crews. In August 2007, "The Orange County Register" revealed the stadium's long-standing [http://www.ocregister.com/news/stadium-food-vermin-1797567-violations-health rodent problem] .

Angel Stadium has been selected to host the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. [ [http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080523&content_id=2753329&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb MLB.com] ]

Beginnings

Angel Stadium has been the home of the Angels since their move from Los Angeles. In 1964, ground was broken for Anaheim Stadium and in 1966, the then-California Angels moved into their new home after having spent four seasons renting Dodger Stadium (referred to during Angels games as Chávez Ravine Stadium) from the Dodgers.

The stadium was built on a parcel of about convert|160|acre|km2 of flat land originally used for agricultural purposes in the southeast portion of Anaheim. Consistent with many major-league sports stadiums built in the 1960s, it is located in a suburban area, though one that is host to major tourist attractions.

The seemingly over-precise dimensions (333 feet instead of 330, for example) were derived from a scientific study conducted by the Angels. Based on the air density at normal game times (1:30 pm and 8 pm), the Angels tried to formulate dimensions that were fairly balanced between pitcher, hitter and average weather conditions. The Angels tinkered with those dimensions several times, expanding or contracting parts of the outfield by a few feet here and there, to try to refine that balance.

None of this seemed to matter to their Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, who threw two of his record seven no-hitters in this ballpark, and racked up 2,416 of his 5,714 career strikeouts in a mere eight seasons with the Angels (Ryan stats from "The Sporting News Baseball Record Book"). One of them, on June 1, 1975, was his fourth, which tied Sandy Koufax's career record, one Ryan would eventually supplant.

The Rams move in

In the late 1970s, Los Angeles Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom brokered a deal by which the Rams would move from Los Angeles to an expanded Anaheim Stadium. To add more seats (eventually about 23,000) for football games, the stadium was enclosed, with the mezzanine and upper decks extended completely around the playing field. An elevated bank of bleachers was built in right field, and temporary seats were placed underneath, to be pulled out for football games. Another bank of bleachers was built in left field. As a result, the view of the local mountains and State Highway 57 was lost.

Additionally, the Big A scoreboard support that stood in left field and was the inspiration for the stadium's nickname was moved convert|1300|ft|m to its present site in the parking lot, adjoining the Orange Freeway beyond the right-field stands; its usage changed from scoreboard to electronic marquee advertising upcoming events at the stadium. A black and white scoreboard/instant replay video board was installed above the newly constructed upper deck seats in left field, but was later deemed inadequate, especially during day games (in 1988 the scoreboard was replaced by a Sony Jumbotron color video board, with black and white matix scoreboards installed above the right field upper deck and the infield upper deck).

The expansion was completed in time for the 1980 NFL season, and the Rams played in Anaheim Stadium from then until their move to St. Louis after the 1994 season.

The January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake caused the Sony Jumbotron to collapse onto the upper deck seats beneath it. No injuries were caused, as the stadium was unoccupied when the earthquake occurred in the predawn hours of a national holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day). The monitor was reinstalled directly on the back of the upper deck stands.

The Disney era

In 1996, The Walt Disney Company, a minority owner of the team since its inception (the stadium is located less than three miles (5 km) east of Disneyland and across from the Honda Center, the home venue of the then Disney-owned Mighty Ducks of Anaheim), gained enough support on the board to effectively take control of the team. Soon afterward, the Angels and the city of Anaheim agreed to a new deal that would keep the Angels in Anaheim until 2031, with an option to leave the facility after the 2016 season. As part of the deal, the stadium underwent an extensive renovation, returning the stadium to its original role as a baseball-only facility. Before the 1997 baseball season, the section behind the outfield wall was demolished. Disney briefly considered moving the Big A scoreboard to its original location, but decided against such a move, citing costs, as well as the fact that the Big A had become a Southern California landmark in its parking lot location.

Despite the fact that much of the stadium was still a hard-hat zone, the demolition and construction being only half-completed, the Angels played their 1997 season in Anaheim. Fans were greeted by a restored view of the San Gabriel and Santa Ana Mountains, the Brea Hills, and the 57 freeway beyond the outfield.

Work that didn't interfere with game play continued throughout the 1997 season, with major renovations resuming in the winter of 1997. These included the installation of outfield bleacher pavilions, a video display board and an out-of-town scoreboard below the right field seats. All of the multicolored seats were replaced by green seats. The exterior of the stadium was also renovated. The concrete structure and ramps were painted a combination of green and sandstone. Much of the facade of the stadium was torn down to create a more open feeling for visitors.

The most notable feature of the renovation, however, was a "California Spectacular" in which geysers erupt and a stream cascades down a mountainside covered with real trees, artificial rocks behind the left-center field fence, and new bullpens. Fireworks shoot out of the display at the start of games, after every Angel home run and after every Angel win (they had been shot off from a parking garage before then).

The field dimensions of the renovated stadium became somewhat asymmetrical, with the convert|8|ft|m|sing=on high fence in right center field (which earlier hid the football-only bleacher section) replaced by a convert|19|ft|m|sing=on high wall which contains a scoreboard displaying out-of-town scores of other games. A plaza was built around the perimeter of the stadium, and inside are statues depicting longtime Angel owner and chairman Gene Autry and Michelle Carew, daughter of former Angel Rod Carew, who died of leukemia at the age of 17.

The main entrance includes two giant Angels hats complete with New Era tags on the sweatband (including one indicating the hats' size: 649½). The hats were originally blue and featured the Angels' "winged" logo designed by Disney for the 1997 season, and were repainted red and decorated with the present-day halo insignia for the 2002 season. Also outside home plate gate is a full-sized brick infield complete with regulation pitcher's mound and lighted bases, with bricks at each player position engraved with the names of Angels players who played at that position on Opening Day of each season since the Angels joined the American League in 1961. For a fee, the green infield bricks can be engraved with fans' names or personalized messages.

In 1998, the stadium was renamed Edison International Field of Anaheim after local utility Edison International reached a deal giving it naming rights over the stadium for 20 years, and during this time, the stadium was referred to as the "Big Ed". However, after the 2003 season, Edison International exercised its option to exit the sponsorship deal. On December 29, 2003, the Angels announced that from then on the stadium would be known as Angel Stadium (in full, Angel Stadium of Anaheim), although locals still refer to the stadium as "Anaheim Stadium", and its original nickname "The Big A" was restored. Despite efforts to cover them up with the Angels' halo insignia, Edison's insignia can still be found on the ends of seating rows throughout the ballpark.

Since 1990, Angel Stadium has been hosting Harvest Crusades, which occur every summer, hosted by Pastor Greg Laurie.

Notable baseball events at Angel Stadium

The stadium was host to the 1967 MLB All-Star Game (the first All-Star Game to be played on prime-time television, although two All-Star Games were played at night during World War II), and again in 1989. Angel Stadium will host the 2010 All-Star Game. [ [http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080523&content_id=2753329&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb MLB.com] ]

It hosted five American League Division Series (2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2008) and five American League Championship Series (1979, 1982, 1986, 2002, and 2005). Most notably, it hosted the 2002 World Series, which the Angels won in dramatic fashion over the San Francisco Giants, finally winning one for their late and long-time owner, "Singing Cowboy" Gene Autry (and for his widow and business partner Jackie, who is also honorary president of the American League).

Famous individual baseball milestones attained here include Mickey Mantle's last game-winning home run, Nolan Ryan's striking out of nine straight Boston Red Sox, Reggie Jackson's 500th career home run, Rod Carew's 3,000th career base hit, and George Brett's 3,000th career base hit.

Angel Stadium hosted several games during Round 2 of the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

At least two major motion pictures were shot here. The final sequence of "" (1988) features an electronically-manipulated Reggie Jackson trying to shoot Queen Elizabeth II. Exteriors were shot at the ballpark, but most baseball scenes were shot at Dodger Stadium. The Disney remake of "Angels in the Outfield" (1994) prominently uses the ballpark, however, the interior shots were filmed at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum due to damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

References

External links

* [http://www.ballparkdigest.com/visits/angel_stadium.htm Ballpark Digest Visit to Angel Stadium]
* [http://www.sports-venue.info/MLB/LAA_Angel_Stadium.html Angel Stadium's Major Renovations]
* [http://anaheim.angels.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/ana/ballpark/ana_ballpark_history.jsp MLB's Ballpark History]
* [http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=10&Z=11&X=2091&Y=18701&W=1&qs=%7cAnaheim%7cCA%7c older USGS aerial photo showing multi-purpose structure]


succession box
title = Home of the
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
years = 1966–present
before = Dodger Stadium
after = Current
succession box
title = Home of the
Los Angeles Rams
years = 1980–1994
before = Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
after = Busch Memorial Stadium
succession box
title = Host of the
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
years = 1967
1989
2010
before =
Busch Memorial Stadium
Riverfront Stadium
Busch Stadium
after =
Astrodome
Wrigley Field
TBA


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