The Coast News Group

Fairgrounds deserves better

I may have been amenable to entertaining the notion of selling the Del Mar Fairgrounds had it not been for the covert manner in which the city of Del Mar conducted (and continues) discussions with potential partners in wresting title from the 22nd District Agricultural Association which wasn’t even offered a seat at the table! I imagine this indicates how the city plans to operate the fairgrounds — out of public view, covertly, without principle stakeholders present, and without consideration of those pesky facts like the $425 million the fairgrounds generates regionally each year without taking one penny from the state to operate.
The ludicrous fire-sale price, the gratuitous sale of the racetrack to uber-wealthy private investors who stand to reap obscene profits in the spurious name of saving California racing, the willful and widespread dissemination of misinformation regarding the current monetary contribution of the facility locally, and the filthy dirty politics notwithstanding, the city kicks sand in the face of the truth and all who care about the region.
Unless Del Mar cleans up its act, stops trying to rush half-baked legislation, casts (truthful) light on the issues, and involves the public and other stakeholders, it had better prepare itself for a backlash emanating from a public whose affection and determination to protect a regional treasure it woefully underestimates.

Patti Newton
Equestrian Marketing Coordinator, Del Mar National Horse Show