Del Mar Ponies Up $120M for Fairgrounds

By R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Dec 2, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 AM PDT
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The Del Mar City Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday night to buy the city's state-owned fairgrounds and race track for $120 million.

The city of Del Mar, along with other government entities, would appoint members to a regional, non-profit board which would run the fairgrounds and racetrack.

The money for the sale will come from various sources, including $30 million put up by horse owners.

The Del Mar fairgrounds and racetrack is one of a several properties the state wants to sell, to help pay debt.

The legislature still has to approve the sale.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds is a landmark in San Diego and hosts about 350 events, including of course the races and the county fair. It's a major source of income for the area.

This idea has been considered now for a while. In fact, last year, the city of Del Mar hosted community meetings to get a feel for how welcomed a purchase would be.  Even back then, some residents had concerns.

“The fair would probably go in the drain just like people have taken away our national parks under other management and mismanagement from other places instead of community people taking care of the fair,” said John Robinson.

A few months back, the fairgrounds general manager said there wouldn't really be any changes as far as the events that are hosted here. He also said there wouldn't really be any major property developments any time soon.

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