Arnold: Del Mar Sale Not Only Fair, It's Win-win

Selling the Del Mar fairgrounds could be a “win-win” situation for San Diego, according to the Governor’s office.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed selling the fairgrounds (among other state landmarks and government office buildings) as part of his plan to help close California's $24.3 billion deficit.

"The sale of state-owned land at Del Mar does not necessarily mean the end of the day-to-day events at the racetrack or fairgrounds,” State and Consumer Services Agency spokesperson Amanda Fulkerson said.  “In fact, selling the land could be a win-win situation - future revenues for the state and little to no interruption of the great community events that are held there."

Schwarzenegger, who has also proposed deep cuts in education, health care, welfare and parks, wants to sell off some property outright, sell office buildings and then rent them back from the new landlords, and lease some state land to developers.

The governor said California could generate $3 billion from selling seven landmarks and 11 office buildings scattered around the state.

In most cases, however, it would take a few years to complete the sales, doing nothing for California's immediate budget crisis. Moreover, selling in the middle of a recession and a downturn in real estate is a questionable proposition.

"Fundamentally, this is the wrong time to do this," said Robert Griswold, a real estate author and member of the planning commission in San Diego. "The market is down and is now in the favor of people looking to buy these properties and not in the favor of the state."

The fairgrounds could reach between $350 million to $650 million.


Contact Us