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Renovations to Anaheim Stadium began Oct. 1, 1996, reverting the 30-year old structure back to a baseball-only facility. On Sept. 15, 1997, the renovated stadium's new name was announced: Edison International Field of Anaheim. On Dec. 29, 2003, the Angels announced the stadium would be renamed Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Total cost for the stadium renovation was estimated at $100 million and the project was completed in time for the Anaheim Angels Opening Day, April 1, 1998.
Anaheim Stadium had been the home of the Angels since their move from Los Angeles following the 1965 season. The stadium opened April 9, 1966, as the California Angels hosted the San Francisco Giants in an exhibition game. The franchise's first American League game was April 19, 1966 vs. the Chicago White Sox. The Los Angeles Angels played at Wrigley Field in 1961 and Chavez Ravine from 1962-65.
The original Anaheim Stadium seated 43,204 (later 43,250). The stadium underwent construction in 1979-80 for additional seating to accommodate the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. Upon completion in 1981, the stadium seated 65,158 (later 64,593) for baseball. The Rams left Anaheim for St. Louis, MO in 1995. The new Angel Stadium of Anaheim has a seating capacity of approximately 45,050 for the Anaheim Angels.
Other unique features of the new Angel Stadium of Anaheim include terraced bullpens in the outfield, widened concourses, new restroom and concession areas, a spacious and modernized press box and broadcast booths, family-oriented seating sections, state-of-the-art club-level and dugout-level suites, the Pepsi Perfect Game Pavilion (a youth-oriented interactive game area) and landscaped courtyards (with statues in rememberance of Gene Autry and Michelle Carew).
In addition, the new Angel Stadium of Anaheim includes three full-service restaurants: The KnotHole Club (a sports bar located at the club level down the right field line); The Diamond Club (an upscale restaurant with outdoor seating on the field level behind home plate); and the Homeplate Club (an indoor restaurant on the club level overlooking the main entrance to the ballpark).
The following organizations were involved in implementing the transition of Anaheim Stadium into Angel Stadium of Anaheim: Walt Disney Imagineering, which served as the manager of the design and construction of Angel Stadium of Anaheim; HOK Sports Facilities Group and Robert A.M. Stern Architects, which were responsible for the architectural planning, design and renovation; and Turner Construction, which directed and provided construction services.
Angel Stadium Timeline
- Construction begins.
- Los Angeles Angels change name to the California Angels, in preparation for the move.
- 1966: Stadium completed.
- 1979: The Rams of the NFL move to Anaheim Stadium, but keep the Los Angeles name. The stadium is renovated for football, and the capacity is increased to about 65,000.
- 1995: The Rams leave Anaheim Stadium to play in Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.
- 1996-97: Major renovations made to stadium, involving the removal of many outfield seats and including the conversion back to a baseball-only stadium, a much larger scoreboard (along with an out-of-town scoreboard on the right-field wall), and a fountain, souvenir shop and kids' zone in the outfield.
- The Disney company purchases the Angels.
- Anaheim Stadium renamed Edison International Field.
- 1998: Renovated Edison Field opens.
- 2003: Edison International Field renamed Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
- The stadium was built on time for the 1966 Opening Day, in spite of work stoppage due to strikes.
- Opened with 43,204 seats.
- Known as "The Big A" due to the large A-shaped scoreboard located past the outfield upon opening. After the multi-sport renovation of 1979, the A was moved to the parking lot, and is easily visible to those driving on the 57 freeway. It now displays information on upcoming events and offers, and still shows the score during Angel games. Also, a much smaller A which displays much of the same information is located at the entrance of the west parking lot.