Angel Stadium turns 56 this year, the 4th oldest ballpark still standing. It certainly doesn’t seem like it is, in part due to the major renovations this stadium has had.
How it happened
One of those renovations was when the Rams moved in for the 1980 season. This was because the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum didn’t sell out and thus blackouts were an issue. In addition, the city Los Angeles wouldn’t build the Rams a new one. Multi purpose stadiums were the style at the time, and thus Angel Stadium was converted as Orange County was having a population boom.
This conversion consisted of closing the stadium to encircle the field, adding many additional seats and moving the Big A to outside next to the 57. By doing so it drastically changed the look of Angel Stadium, ruining the view and losing much of the charm.
While at Angel Stadium, the Rams were successful for the most part, going to the playoffs 7 times. Big time players and big time plays made Angel Stadium a great place to watch competitive fun teams in 2 sports, But, unfortunately, like the Angels, the Rams couldn’t get over the hump in the 80’s.
How it ended
In the 90’s owner Georgia Frontiere saw an opportunity to move the Rams to her hometown of St. Louis and gutted the team in order to make the move the fans’ fault.
The media and people bought the excuse and the Rams left. What this meant for Angel Stadium was what can now be called a coliseum problem, as the seating, which was already an issue for Angel games with how far away the outfield seats were. Worse as there was no excuse to having them there anymore.
When Disney took over they renovated the place, opening the stadium up and overall improving the aesthetics dramatically. Even though the decision for a geyser and the other choices are still devisive to this day, we can all agree it is better now as a baseball only stadium.
However, some of the changes made for football are still there. The Big A is still in the parking lot, the big wall in RF with seating behind is a leftover of that time, as is the straight line making the stadium not a mirror copy of Dodger Stadium anymore. Changing Angel Stadium to something more modern was something Disney didn’t have to do. The A’s still have Raiders ghosts that haunt them in the form of Mt. Davis in Oakland.
In 2017, the Eagles practiced at Angel Stadium, harkening back to an older time. While not a multi sport stadium anymore, it can still fit football if need be.
With the Rams being at Angel Stadium for a good while, I wonder how many Angel fans are fans of the Rams? With them gone for 20 years, I know many have a different team to cheer for if they do care about the NFL. One thing I am glad for, though, is that they both have a place they can call home suited for them.