Fairgounds to Be Upgraded

A master plan for the Del Mar Fairgrounds, with suggested improvements estimated to cost nearly $90 million, has been completed by Tucker, Sadler & Associates, San Diego architectural and planning firm.

The company was retained in 1984 to analyze 1968 and 1980 fairground configurations and consider needs through the year 2000.

Major suggested changes include adding nearly 100 acres of parking space, replacing the grandstand, original livestock stables and utility infrastructure, and constructing an administration building for the 22nd Agricultural District, which administers the fairgrounds.

The plan, which was approved by the state Race Track Leasing Commission last August, now awaits final approval of the environmental impact report, expected next month.

The racing facility is leased to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club by the commission. Last year, the two-week-long Del Mar Fair and the seven-week-long racing season attracted 820,000 people.

Replacing the sewerage and electrical systems should take precedence over other projects in the master plan, according to Chuck Jackson, project architect at Tucker, Sadler.

The state-owned fairgrounds facility covers about 300 acres west of Interstate 5, bounded by the San Dieguito River on the south, Via De La Valle on the north and the Santa Fe tracks on the west.

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