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Del Mar Music Venue Slated for Spring Opening

Construction on a 1,900-seat Del Mar Fairgrounds live-music venue is officially underway

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    Earlier this year, the Del Mar Fairgrounds quietly began construction on renovations to its existing off-track wagering facility, Surfside Race Place, transforming it from an underused off-site betting parlor into an indoor entertainment venue.

    Following a construction kick-off ceremony this past May, the fairgrounds site is ultimately slated to become a 1,900-seat entertainment and live-music venue after the dust settles.

    According to the 22nd District Agricultural Association (which owns and operates the Del Mar Fairgrounds), more than 100 concerts will be held at the site each year, along with esports competitions, sporting events, weddings, family events, and more.

    With an anticipated completion date of the spring of 2020, the as-yet-unnamed venue (naming rights are still available) was scheduled to be completed by May 1, 2018. However, as we reported in 2017, the process got off to a rocky start when opponents of the project -- led by the city of Solana Beach -- filed a civil complaint in San Diego Superior Court requiring the 22nd DAA to perform an environmental review amid concerns about noise, parking, security and other potential impacts on surrounding areas.

    Then, in 2018, the project was overhauled after its two construction bids came back in well over the original estimated cost (approximately $13 million). The 22nd DAA board chose not to award a contract and instead redesigned the project's scope.

    After the 22nd DAA secured a $15 million loan from Sacramento's California Infrastructure Economic Development Bank (IBank) this past February, officials awarded construction to Silvergate Contracting in March.

    Stay tuned to SoundDiego.com for more information and updates on the project.

    Dustin Lothspeich is SoundDiego's senior associate editor, a San Diego Music Award-winning musician, and talent buyer at The Merrow. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.