Improved open-air arena makes its debut at Del Mar Fairgrounds

DEL MAR — An open air arena now is available for year-round events without weather concerns, Del Mar Fairgrounds General Manager Tim Fennell said April 14 during the monthly meeting of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, the state agency that has jurisdiction over the fairgrounds.
A 76,000-square-foot roof over the arena was completed in time for the Del Mar National Horse Show that is under way and continues through May 3.
According to Fennell, a wide variety of events have shown interest in booking the improved facility such as rodeos, professional soccer and concerts. The $l5 million improvement includes a concrete base. Dirt can be placed over it for some events. There is also a portable wood floor available for activities like roller derby and dances.
In other developments, Fennell announced a three-year agreement with Albertsons food chain gives it presenting rights for $1.34 million. Heavy marketing promotion both by the fairgrounds and Albertsons will be done including the advance sale of County Fair tickets beginning next month at the 58 Albertsons stores. Fair dates are June 12 through July 5.
Opening day grandstand entertainment June 12 will feature Jefferson Starship; Big Brother & The Holding Co.; Melanie; and Country Joe McDonald, all who appeared at Woodstock during that international event. Other grandstand shows include Melissa Etheridge, June 13; David Cook, June 18; David Archuleta, June 20; The B-52s, June 25; Switchfoot, June 26; Creedence Clearwater Revisted, June 30; KC & The Sunshine Band, July 1; The Music of Abba, July 2; Smokey Robinson, July 4; and Kelly Clarkson July 5. Hispanic shows will include La Arrolladora, Banda El Limon & Los Creadorez del Pasito Duranguense, June 21, and Intocable & Patrulla 81 on June 28.

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