Anaheim’s Giant Makeover


Two new developments will likely make Anaheim, in southern California, an even hotter spot for meetings and events. The 820-acre area that includes MLB Angels Stadium and Honda Center, known as Platinum Triangle, will soon become a district for sports and entertainment, full of restaurants, parks, retail stores, hotels and meetings space.

The 153-acre Angel Stadium site’s development plans encompasses two new hotels, offering a total of 943 rooms; a five-acre park; 5,175 residential units; retail stores, restaurants and places for live entertainment.

Honda Center’s 115-acre OC Vibe will be home to a host of options for events, including a 68,000-square-foot food hall, restaurants and retail stores; two hotels with a total of 650 rooms; and a 30,000-capacity live entertainment center, including a 6,000-seat concert venue.

As a result of the pandemic, many meeting planners are turning to open, outdoor spaces, which these planned developments offer in abundance. At OC Vibe, there will be a 3-acre park plaza and a nearly 5-acre park in front of Artic, the city’s transportation center. There will also be a 5-acre park outside of Angel Stadium.

“These two developments are things we only dreamed about,” says Jay Burress, president and CEO of Visit Anaheim. “Together, they can [become] the entertainment capital for Orange County, if not Southern California. The offerings [they are] going to have for entertainment and dining is something we’ve long wanted in Anaheim. It’s very exciting for us and our visitors, but especially meetings and conventions attendees.”.

As a city best known as home to Disneyland, Burress is excited to have new offerings for visitors—1 million sq. ft. of new offerings. “We’re proud to be the home of Disneyland. Yet there are a lot of clients who never see Disneyland or get close to it; they’re looking for other entertainment or dining experiences like they get when they go to other destinations, and this is going to cover that,” Burress says.

The 1.15-million-square-foot Anaheim Convention Center is the largest exhibit space on the West Coast, and it figures prominently in about 50-70 citywide events annually. These two new sites will “add to an already great product,” Burress says.

Like the rest of the industry, Anaheim has been busy keeping and shuffling events derailed by COVID-19. “We’ve been busy rescheduling conventions for March through September. At the convention center, we still have some groups on the books for October, November and December and into ’21. [Groups] still want to come. There’s a lot of positive feelings about ’21 and beyond, so we want to keep that momentum going,” Burress says. “Anaheim is looking to the future.”

The first phase of this project will be open to the public in 2024 and is set for completion in 2028, the year Honda Center will host indoor volleyball for the Summer Olympics. Construction for the Angel Stadium site is set to begin in 2025 and will continue through 2050.