A proposition has been made by Long Beach mayor Robert Garcia that would turn the paddock section and final corners of the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit into a new stadium for the Los Angeles Angels Major League Baseball team.
The Angels, whose contract to use its current stadium in Anaheim expires at the end of the 2020 season, have been seeking everything from a major renovation of its present facility to relocating to a new stadium elsewhere in greater Los Angeles.
Under the most recent contract executed between the city of Long Beach and the Grand Prix at Long Beach Association, the immensely popular street circuit event headlined by the NTT IndyCar Series and supported by IMSA’s WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and the Blancpain GT World Challenge America series, among others, runs through 2023.
Although the Angels’ timeline for a stadium solution falls many years before the GPALB contract expires, it’s believed the city holds the right to cancel the contract if a decision was made to fund the construction of a waterfront home for the baseball team.
An extensive list of studies—both financial and environmental—would be required before any significant action could be taken, and in some instances, a year or more would be needed to complete those assessments.
“Right now, it’s too early to make an assessment on the impact,”GPALB president Jim Michaelian told RACER. “We haven’t seen any plans, or any layouts of what’s being proposed, but we’ll meet with all the parties involved and see what develops.”
With the race preparing to celebrate its 45 anniversary in April, Michaelian said the event has seen frequent change take place around the 1.9-mile temporary beachside circuit.
“In 1975 when we first started the Grand Prix, there was virtually no development going on where we are in Long Beach, and since them, there’s been a plethora of building—high-rise buildings, hotels, an aquarium, and a lot of businesses have moved in,” he said.
“The Grand Prix has managed to thrive throughout those developments, and we’ll meet to see how our needs can be met if a stadium is eventually built.”