After more than three decades of existence,
Angel Stadium, looks much as it did when it opened in 1966. In
1960, Gene Autry founded the Los Angeles Angels. The team played
their first year in
Los Angeles’ Wrigley Field in 1961. After one year, they moved
Dodger Stadium in 1962, and played there until 1965. With the
need for their own stadium, it was announced that a new ballpark
would be built in Anaheim, and be called Anaheim Stadium.
Construction began on August
31, 1964. With the move to Anaheim, the team changed its name from
the Los Angeles Angels to the California Angels. After a work
stoppage and strikes the stadium was completed on time. Opening
Day came on April 19, 1966. The three-tier stadium had 43,204
seats, that stretched from the right field foul pole to home plate,
and around to the left field foul pole.
Escalators, elevators, and
ramps helped fans get to their multi-colored seats. Anaheim
Stadium instantly became known as the "Big A", because of the
A-frame scoreboard that was behind the outfield wall. It was 230
feet tall, and a $1 million giant halo topped the scoreboard.
Original dimensions at Anaheim Stadium were 333 ft. (left), 404
ft. (center), and 333 ft. (right).
The first of two renovations to Anaheim
Stadium came in 1979, when the Los Angeles Rams (NFL), moved to
Anaheim. The stadium was enclosed, increasing the capacity to
65,158. A new scoreboard was installed on the facade of the
outfield roof, because the "Big A" was moved to the parking lot.
New executive and media boxes, along with a new sound system were
also added. The stadium remained multipurpose until 1995, when the
Rams moved to St. Louis. The next renovation began after the
Disney Company bought the Angels in 1997.
With the Rams departure and earthquake
damage, many changes took place at the stadium. After the 1996
season, renovations began with the removal of all the outfield
seats. Renovations continued throughout the 1997 season. Parts of
the stadium remained closed during the 1997 season, thus making
the capacity around 33,000. Replacing the 20,000 seats in the
outfield are bleacher seats, a video display board, an out of town
scoreboard below the right field seats, a "California spectacular"
in which geysers erupt and a stream cascades down a mountainside
covered with real trees, and artificial rocks behind the
left-center field fence, and new bullpens. 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
green and a plaza was constructed outside the stadium with two
giant Angel hats. Anaheim Stadium was renamed Edison International
Field in 1997 after a deal was struck with Edison International
Power for the naming rights. With a new capacity of 45,050, the
renovated stadium opened on April 1, 1998.
The ballpark has many
amenities including the Pepsi Perfect Game Pavilion, dugout level
seating, and three club restaurants; The Knot Hole Club (sports
bar located on the club level down the right filed line), The
Diamond Club (an upscale restaurant with outdoor seating), and the Home
Plate Club (overlooks the main entrance of the ballpark).
After the 2003 season, Edison International and the Angels ended
the naming rights agreement. The stadium will be now known as