(Renamed Angels Stadium of Anaheim Dec, 2003)
Set in the midst of freeways, office parks and other things that are so Southern California.
Edison International Field was opened for business in 1966 as Anaheim Stadium to be
the permanent home of the then California Angels. Several expansions were made
during the 70s to accommodate NFL football. After the Rams headed east for greener
pastures, the venue was completely renovated into a baseball only facility and the result
is what is simply known as The Ed by the locals.
Outside the Venue
This is not a downtown type of venue as there is plenty of parking to be found in stadium
lots as well as many others within close range of the facility. Seems like a good place to
tailgate, however, with a sparse crowd on hand there wasn't much to be found.
The first thing one notices outside the stadium is the signature "Big A" marquee that sits
in one corner of the parking lot. At one time this structure towered over left field but was
moved out to the parking lot when the stadium was renovated. If the Angels are
victorious, the halo atop this landmark is lit up so that those driving by on the freeway
know how the Angels fared that evening.
This stadium is beautifully landscaped with palm trees, ferns, hibiscus, and many other
tropical plants native to the region all about the outside. Somewhat similar to what we
saw at the National Car Rental Center except done much more elaborately. Even the
security entrances and loading docks tucked in hard to notice places were given plenty of
attention. The pavement is made of colorful brickwork, done in tan and teal, along with
the occasional blue and red team-color accent. This brickwork forms a colorful mosaic
which compliments the buildings' architecture and landscaping.
The main entrance to the facility is at home plate. Here are several things that will catch
your eye. The brick pavement is designed and colored in the shape of a baseball
diamond complete with bases, foul lines, outfield with warning track, and even a raised
pitcher's mound. Taking this one step further, at the spot where each position player
would stand the Angels have a brick in the pavement displaying the names of the
opening day starter for each year in their forty year history. Also in the "field" are the
handprints of Angel icons Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, and Don Sutton.
The sign that bears the name of the stadium is held up by giant baseball bats. To enter
the concourses through home plate one will walk under one of two giant Angels caps
(again held up by baseball bats) which serve as canopies just before having your ticket
ripped by the ushers.
This facility has four concourses with two at the lower seating level, one for the club and
suite level, and another for the upper level with plenty of ramps and escalators to take you
to your seat. The ground level is open to the public yet entrances to the field are for those
who have preferred seating and/or access to the restaurant and plaza that sits behind
homeplate. The Angels' main team shop can be found here along with a statue to honor
Gene Autry, the team?s founder, in a separate plaza on the 3rd base side.
The field level concourse surrounds the playing field and offers a view of the action with
the exception of right field. The outfield portion of this concourse is what is most notable
with all kinds of interactive games for people of all ages. In left field there is the Nestle
Kids Pavilion with interactive games including a test of speed in the dash from home to
1st base, and in right field there is the Pepsi Perfect Game Pavilion, which is geared
more toward the older baseball fan, with attractions such as a fantasy play by play booth.
Banners of current Angel players hang throughout this concourse.
The Club concourse is shared by club seat holders and suite holders alike. There is a
buffet style restaurant behind home plate, and because of the strange traffic pattern also
is open to people just passing through from one side of the field to the other. Overlooking
right field there is a restaurant (The Knothole Club) where one can kick back and enjoy a
good meal while watching the Angels win. The upper concourses are open with views of
the surrounding Anaheim skyline (??).
A three level setting from foul pole to foul pole with some lower level seats in left and right
field. In center field there is an impressive fountain display amidst what appears to be
bedrock landscaping. Above the right field seats is the main scoreboard with a
jumbotron. Along the rim of the lower balcony there are dot matrix boards that show the
count and score of the game along with out of town. The outfield fences has been
decorated with a mural of many current Angels centered by the team's slogan, "It's About
Retired numbers and Banners
The numbers of Angel greats such as Nolan Ryan, Rod Carew and Jim Fregosi hang
above the right field seats below the scoreboard alongside a #26 for team founder Gene
Autry. We never did find out the significance of that number. We were a bit surprised to
find no banners celebrating the Angels' three AL West Championships in 1979,1982,and
1986. Suppose we will have to wait for the Angels to get to the World Series before we
see something hanging here.
While the Angels have done a superb job with upgrading this facility there are a few
bones we have to pick with this place. First, while there are many places that are
wonderfully refurbished, there are also many spots, most notably in the concourses, that
seem to have been given nothing more than a coat of paint and therefore look somewhat
shabby. While the outside of the facility and outfield plazas have been beautifully remade,
much of the rest of the concourses still show the infrastructure that has been in place for
over 35 years, and the mix of past and present really does not blend very nicely.
A decent experience. A place that looks stunning from the outside yet so-so inside. The
fans here are very mellow to boot and not really into the action. Yet it still is probably a
huge improvement over what was here in prior to the renovation.
A special report on our return visit... the Anaheim Angels in the ALCS!
October 20, 2002... When we visited this team and venue back in April of 2001, we would
not imagine even in our wildest dreams that we would return here a year and a half later
with the stakes much higher... the Anaheim Angels in the playoffs and making a run for
the World Series. For this team has endured heartache, hard luck, gut wrenching
collapses and mostly losing seasons mired in futility. But all that has been wiped clean
in this 2002 magical season, and what luck that we had a chance to experience it!
Our trip to the west coast had us scheduled to see NFL games at the Chargers and the
Seahawks. As luck would have it, the ALCS schedule had game 3 in Anaheim, and this
would mean that the planets had aligned and we could take in the game. Our first task
was obtaining game tickets... Angels playoff tickets are now a hot item, so we
turned to Ebay, and managed to get $48 right field tickets, but had to pay $106. Yikes!!!
But it was worth every penny...Walking into Edison Field was a magical experience. A
packed house dressed in a sea of red, fans banging their thundersticks and waving their
rally monkeys, and the air electric with the giddiness of Angels fans who had known
nothing but heartache... until this year. We took our seats and just soaked in the
atmosphere - fans standing and cheering and hanging on every pitch. Troy Glaus
provided the late inning heroics with an opposite field shot to the right field bleachers,
and closer Troy Percival came in for the 9th to save the
game. Final score... Anaheim 2, Minnesota 1.
A couple cool things to note... beloved former owner Gene Autry passed away in 1998, yet
his spirit lives on here at the ballpark and "Mr. Angel" has to be smiling down on his
team. Autry's widow Jackie takes her place in the owner's box, and a large smiling photo
of the legendary Gene Autry hangs over the railing.
Next... the RALLY MONKEY! Born in 2000, the Rally Monkey symbolizes the "never say
die" attitude of the team. A couple of rules... the Monkey only appears in the 7th inning or
later, and there must be an Angel on base, and the team must be tied or trailing. If the
Monkey makes an appearance, then fans are treated to a barrage of cleverly produced
videos which sends the crowd into a frenzy.
Lastly, the halo on the "Big A" outside the stadium was lit again, serving as a beacon to
let people know that the Angels have won. As for us, we left the building on this night,
knowing that as sports fans we were treated to something truly special!
Fan Support 5
Concourses/fan comfort 6
Lighted “Halo” marquee 1; Rally Monkey 2; Historic displays at main entrance 2
Angels Stadium of Anaheim
ALCS Game 3